The Bulls received a mixed bag of news from the judicial front on Monday – with a ban ruling out centre JP Nel, but lock Bakkies Botha being cleared of any wrongdoing.
Rugby 365 reports that Nel was suspended for four weeks, following the his citing for a dangerous tackle on Sharks fullback Stefan Terblanche in last Saturday’s 27-26 Super 14 match in Durban.
While Nel will miss this coming Saturday’s semifinal against the Crusaders at Loftus, Botha will be available for selection for the Bulls.
While Nel’s suspension is a severe blow to the Bulls – especially in light of the hip injury to ace centre Wynand Olivier – the availability of Botha is a counterbalance as the men from Pretoria aim to win the title for a second time in three years.
However, with Olivier doubtful, the Bulls’ midfield stock could be severely depleted.
The Bulls will only decide later in the week whether Olivier’s hip has recovered sufficiently for him to play in the semifinal.
Nel’s disciplinary hearing took place on Monday.
The case was heard in Pretoria by SANZAR judicial officer Dekker Govender.
Nel was represented at the hearing by his legal representative Gerrie Swart. The defence argued strongly that the tackle on Terblanche was not dangerous.
The judicial officer, however, after viewing the video evidence ruled that the tackle from Nel was dangerous, and after taking into account the relevant mitigating circumstances, Nel was suspended for four weeks from all rugby up until and including June 13.
As a result the Bulls centre will miss the Super 14 semifinal against the Crusaders in Pretoria this week and also the Final the following week, should the Bulls win on Saturday.
Nel has the right to appeal the suspension.
Botha faced a disciplinary hearing after being cited for striking Sharks player Ryan Kankowski in last Saturday’s Super 14 match in Durban.
Botha was represented by lawyer Gerrie Swart and his case was also heard by Govender.
The defence argued that the Bulls lock pushed Kankowski rather than deliberately struck him.
The Judicial Officer viewed the video evidence and took into consideration that the referee was in full view of the incident. He ruled that there was no intent from the Bulls lock to strike Kankowski.
Govender also added that Botha pushed Kankowski to release himself from the grasp of the Sharks player.
The case against Botha was not upheld by the Judicial Officer.
As a result Botha will be available for selection for the Bulls’ Super 14 semifinal match against the Crusaders in Pretoria on Saturday.Tweet