robdylan

Four weeks for Bismarck


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :In the news, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 22 Mar 2015 at 19:00
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Bismarck du Plessis has been suspended from all rugby, up to and including the 18th of April, after pleading guilty to foul play against the Chiefs on Saturday. Du Plessis was shown a red card early in the game for a kick to the head of Chiefs number 8 Michael Leitch.

The Sharks captain will thus not be available for selection until the first tour game against the Highlanders.

Hika Elliot, who was shown a red card shortly before du Plessis’ transgression, has copped a one week suspension for a reckless ruck entry, whilst Liam Messam (who committed a red card offence hat was not picked up in game) and Frans Steyn (who was also shown red for a spear tackle) are yet to face disciplinary hearings. Chiefs winger Tom Marshall was issued a Citing Commissioner Warning (the new name of an off-field yellow) for kneeing Cobus Reinach in the back late in the game.

The findings in Bismarck’s hearing are as follows:

“The player’s kick was pre-meditated, intentional and unprovoked. It was reckless, that is the player knew (or should have known) there was a risk of committing an act of foul play. In my opinion the offence was a grave one and the possibility of serious injury existed.

“The Chiefs’ No. 8 was in a vulnerable position on the ground. He did not see the kick, even if he had, he had limited means available to him, given the position of his arms and body, to protect himself from the player’s actions.

“Whilst the player claims he was frustrated by Chiefs’ No. 8 not releasing him from the tackle earlier that does not, in my opinion, entitle him to retaliate by kicking his opponent in the area of the head with a studded boot. The head is of course sacrosanct.

“Mr. Swart, the Player’s representative, submitted that the offence was in the lower end of seriousness, particularly given no injury was sustained by Chiefs’ No. 8. I was unable to accede to that submission. Whilst it was fortunate that the player did not sustain an injury, he was nonetheless placed in a vulnerable position and the risk of him sustaining an injury to his head including in and around the eye area was clearly present. Accordingly, I found that the offence should be categorised as a mid-range offence and that the entry point of an eight-week suspension was the relevant starting point.

“I was informed that the player was suspended for three weeks in 2008 for dangerous contact to the head area of an opponent. Apart from that indiscretion, the player has not been found guilty of any foul play. In 2012 he received two yellow cards (a red card offence) in the one Test match against New Zealand which resulted in him being ordered off the playing enclosure. At the subsequent judicial hearing there was a finding by the judicial officer that the referee’s decision to issue one of the yellow cards was wrong. As a result, the red card issued in that Test match was expunged from his record.

“Although the player was suspended seven years ago for dangerous contact to the head of an opponent that does not, in my opinion, categorise the player as a repeat offender of the game to warrant any uplift on the entry point as an aggravating factor.

“Since 2008 it seems he has been a model player and in my opinion, no other aggravating factors existed for consideration other than those which were taken into account in determining the appropriate entry point.

“The player has played professional rugby for approximately 12 years. He has played 77 Test matches for South Africa, 125 Super Rugby matches and in the order of 47 Currie Cup matches. Apart from a three week suspension in 2008 the player’s disciplinary record is unblemished. This is his first red card offence in a lengthy first class playing career.

“I accepted that the player’s remorse and contrition for his offending was genuine and his acceptance that he committed an act of foul play at the earliest opportunity.

“Having regard to the above mitigating factors and the overall culpability of the player’s offending, I was satisfied that the eight week entry point should be reduced to four weeks. Accordingly, I offered the player a four week suspension as a preliminary indication of penalty in accordance with the DJO process, which was accepted.”

“The player is suspended from all forms of rugby up to and including Saturday 18 April 2015.”



71 Comments

  • He deserves more than 4 weeks. He is lucky he got off so lightly. I am disgusted by his behaviour. Totally uncalled for.

  • Comment 1, posted at 22.03.15 19:17:00 by lostfish Reply
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  • Very lucky.

  • Comment 2, posted at 22.03.15 19:24:49 by Ben Reply
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  • Thought it would be at least six weeks.

  • Comment 3, posted at 22.03.15 19:25:39 by Ben Reply
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  • I hope Messam gets at least four weeks.

  • Comment 4, posted at 22.03.15 19:27:01 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 4) : But we all know that won’t happen.

  • Comment 5, posted at 22.03.15 19:27:28 by Ben Reply
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  • I wouldn’t say Bismarck was entirely unprovoked. Still no excuse though. What he did is unacceptable.

  • Comment 6, posted at 22.03.15 19:31:21 by Ben Reply
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  • I believe this is fair. Bissie needs to realise that players out there are targeting him with off the ball stuff. Whether it’s deliberate attempts to get a reaction, keep him out of play or both.

    I am curious to see what Liam gets. Considering it was an unprovoked and deliberate choke hold. Can’t say he was reckless as he grabbed his own hand to lock the hold and apply more pressure on the neck.

  • Comment 7, posted at 22.03.15 19:32:11 by gregkaos Reply
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  • Yes it was bad but then it’s not as if Bizzy walked past the guy and decided to kick him. The Chiefs guys were looking for kak from the kick off. It’s time that negative play is also stamped out just as hard as foul play! !!!
    I would like to see the player that after being provoked time and time again does not react.
    It’s time that negative players is judge right along side the “dirty” players so that they can answer for their part in the transgression! !!!

  • Comment 8, posted at 22.03.15 19:32:36 by JD Reply
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  • Maybe this can be turned into a good thing. Maybe Bismarck will finally take a good long look at himself.

  • Comment 9, posted at 22.03.15 19:34:39 by Ben Reply
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  • What was Messam’s offense? Was it the choking? Or was it something about a punch?

  • Comment 10, posted at 22.03.15 19:43:51 by David12246 Reply

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  • Just get Burden back.

  • Comment 11, posted at 22.03.15 19:44:46 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 9) : Let’s hope so.

  • Comment 12, posted at 22.03.15 19:45:35 by vanmartin Reply
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  • I watched the spear tackle from Frans again. Yes, he laughed after he was shown the red card. But that does not necessarily mean that he is full of himself. It must just be his way to react in complete disbelief. I do the exact same when something ridiculous happens to me. I just laugh and shake my head. Not saying that the red card was ridiculous, just saying that it’s his way of dealing with it.

  • Comment 13, posted at 22.03.15 19:51:20 by Ben Reply
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  • @David12246 (Comment 10) : the choke, I believe. Based on the time in the match that it happened.

  • Comment 14, posted at 22.03.15 19:52:02 by robdylan Reply
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  • I heard someone say Beast got punched. Did anyone actually see this happening?

  • Comment 15, posted at 22.03.15 19:55:42 by Ben Reply
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  • Expected this, Messam probably will get a week or two

  • Comment 16, posted at 22.03.15 20:08:57 by BR Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 13) : my take on that too.

  • Comment 17, posted at 22.03.15 20:34:24 by Ice Reply
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  • I’m not questioning Frans’ guilt or card at all but in the Bulls game a Force player (can’t recall who) spear-tackled Pollard. The tackle was reviewed and the comment from the ref in that match was almost identical to the one in Sharks game: “the player was lifted past the horizontal”. The Force player was only penalised though (which handed the match to the Bulls) but why can’t there be some consistent threshhold on these offenses? Frans will have this on his record while the other guy suffers no long-term consequences.

  • Comment 18, posted at 22.03.15 20:36:32 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 18) : And just to be absolutely clear on this, I have no issue with the ref’s decision in the Sharks’ game.

  • Comment 19, posted at 22.03.15 20:38:51 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 17) : I agree…

  • Comment 20, posted at 22.03.15 20:40:32 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 18) : good point.

  • Comment 21, posted at 22.03.15 20:41:39 by Ice Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 18) : Agree. The referees have all been instructed to show a red card for a spear tackle. We need consistency.

  • Comment 22, posted at 22.03.15 20:42:10 by Ben Reply
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  • I mean, does there have to be a broken neck before the players and referees realise how serious this spear tackle thing is? Prevention is better than cure.

  • Comment 23, posted at 22.03.15 20:45:13 by Ben Reply
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  • In Steyn’s defence though. I’m not 100% certain it would have been so bad had Reinach not pushed down on Cruden while Steyn was lifting him.

  • Comment 24, posted at 22.03.15 20:47:52 by Ben Reply
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  • Will people please get over the Frans laughing thing?

    Not like the guy was doing an impression of a Silent-Era movie villain or something – clearly he was completely nonplussed by being shown a red.

    Bismark is lucky.

  • Comment 25, posted at 22.03.15 20:47:59 by Big Fish Reply
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  • Disgustingly light punishment for Bismarck.

    And now the team suffers for 4 weeks with a player down thanks to his stupidity.

  • Comment 26, posted at 22.03.15 20:51:00 by Feather Reply

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  • How come Hika Elliot gets 1 week for a shoulder barge into the back of beasts head? surely this is also a bad offence?

  • Comment 27, posted at 22.03.15 20:52:20 by Dunx Reply

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  • @Big Fish (Comment 25) : but that’s what we said.. :p

  • Comment 28, posted at 22.03.15 20:53:12 by Ice Reply
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  • Bissie is a very lucky man not to get 6 weeks. Liam Messam will probably just get 2 or 3 weeks as he is a kiwi after all . Frans should get a 2 or 3 week ban too.
    I read Bismark’s apology – lets just hope he does what he says he’s gonna do. The captaincy must certainly be taken away and given to Lambie.
    @vanmartin (Comment 18) : Only difference is Pollard didn’t land so badly on his neck though. That tackle from Frans was a lot more dangerous IMO.

  • Comment 29, posted at 22.03.15 20:54:28 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

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  • @RedSharkUtd82 (Comment 29) : It doesn’t matter.

  • Comment 30, posted at 22.03.15 20:58:51 by Ben Reply
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  • The International Rugby Board has issued a statement of clarification regarding the Tip or Spear tackle. 

    Law 10.4(j) reads: Lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst that player’s feet are still off the ground such that the player’s head and/or upper body come into contact with the ground is dangerous play.

    A directive was issued to all Unions and Match Officials in 2009 emphasizing the IRB’s zero-tolerance stance towards dangerous tackles and reiterating the following instructions for referees:

    - The player is lifted and then forced or ‘speared’ into the ground (red card offence)

    - The lifted player is dropped to the ground from a height with no regard to the player’s safety (red card offence)

    - For all other types of dangerous lifting tackles a yellow card or penalty may be considered sufficient

    Regular directives to Unions, Match Officials and Judicial Officers have been issued to reinforce the IRB’s zero-tolerance stance regarding dangerous tackles and the promotion of player welfare.

    The policy was again reiterated to team officials at a Team Managers seminar in Auckland two weeks before the start of Rugby World Cup and during the Tournament and there have been a number of other Tip Tackle cases at Rugby World Cup 2011.

  • Comment 31, posted at 22.03.15 20:59:40 by Ben Reply
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  • @RedSharkUtd82 (Comment 29) : Fair enough but both tackles are still illegal so both should be carded, even if in the case of the tackle on Pollard it’s only a yellow.

  • Comment 32, posted at 22.03.15 21:00:39 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 30) : @Ben (Comment 31) : Thank you for posting the actual law – having read that the Force guy should have gotten at least a yellow.

    @vanmartin (Comment 32) : True should have been a yellow

  • Comment 33, posted at 22.03.15 21:07:12 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

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  • Does this mean Bismarck gets to do his 2-4 week Bok-prescribed rest all in one shot?! :lol:

  • Comment 34, posted at 22.03.15 21:12:42 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Watched it now…no excuse for Bismarck. It was a shocker…he’s lucky to get just 4 weeks!!

  • Comment 35, posted at 22.03.15 21:16:12 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 28) : Exactly…

  • Comment 36, posted at 22.03.15 21:17:10 by pastorshark Reply
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  • I read that the Sharks also gave Bismarck a punishment which they will not reveal as it is an internal matter…wonder what that is?

  • Comment 37, posted at 22.03.15 21:21:56 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Just one question? Why didnt people lash out as much at Deysel last year in the Crusaders game? It was basically the same thing. Let’s give Bismarck another chance, afterall he apologised.

  • Comment 38, posted at 22.03.15 21:28:08 by JarsonX Reply
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  • This ill discipline needs to be nipped in the butt like in yesterday. Time to step up Sharks Management.

  • Comment 39, posted at 22.03.15 21:30:38 by JarsonX Reply
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  • Also time for saru to get involved with the bad consistency in other bans. Bissie is lucky i agree but for elliot to get 1 week is laughable.

  • Comment 40, posted at 22.03.15 21:37:33 by Dunx Reply

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  • @JarsonX (Comment 38) : I agree. What he did was stupid and almost cost the sharks the game, but who of us playing sport has never done something stupid in the heat of the game? Bismarck is a very aggressive player,which is usually a good thing. Also, elliot really deserve much more than 1 week, Bismarck’s might have been stupid, but his was just as stupid and much more dangerous imo

  • Comment 41, posted at 22.03.15 21:40:19 by HeinF Reply

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  • Bismarck had the ball, the guy made a legitimate tackle and held him until he was on the ground, then released.

    Counting that as a provocation is ridiculous.

    The way Cruden’s head was driven into the ground was much more serious than what happened to Pollard. The referee had discretion and chose penalty only. That’s fair. I’d rather he’d awarded a penalty try with the yellows earlier. The Force’s maul defense was repeatedly and deliberately foul.

  • Comment 42, posted at 22.03.15 22:23:57 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 38) : I feel that Deysel’s was less of a clear, intentional kick to the head and more an attempt to shake of the opponent. It wasn’t all too different to be honest, but Bismarck is our captain and maybe that’s the big difference between the two. Let’s also not forget that a few weeks ago Bismarck apologized for lashing out against Matfield. Clearly not a lot changed in his mentality as promised.

  • Comment 43, posted at 22.03.15 22:27:10 by David12246 Reply

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  • @pastorshark (Comment 37) : Very curious about that as well. Do they have the right to fine him? Maybe it referred to the captaincy or perhaps had something to do with his contract. Fair bet that we won’t know much about that.

  • Comment 44, posted at 22.03.15 22:30:34 by David12246 Reply

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  • @Ben (Comment 13) : My take on it is that he is laughing in disbelief.

  • Comment 45, posted at 22.03.15 22:39:43 by lostfish Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 37) : Bakoond. 3 rounds. Two hands allowed. Gray squad invited to join.

  • Comment 46, posted at 22.03.15 22:41:21 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 42) : Steyn was unfortunate. If Reinach hadn’t helped with the tackle Steyn probably could have brought him back down ok. It’s harsh on Steyn but at the end of the day Cruden did get lifted over and wasn’t placed back down .

  • Comment 47, posted at 22.03.15 22:43:01 by lostfish Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 42) : I think trying to judge intent or potential harm in a tip tackle is a mighty slippery slope. Both tackles were illegal and potentially dangerous. One blatantly more so than the other but both should still be carded to try and keep that sort of play to a minimum.

  • Comment 48, posted at 22.03.15 22:48:09 by vanmartin Reply
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  • A little off topic, but did you guys send the Vodacom Cup game? I know the opposition wasn’t more than club quality, but the boys played very good! Especially Fred, he had a blinder! So to Jaco van Tonder and Ettas.

  • Comment 49, posted at 22.03.15 22:48:40 by Southern_Shark Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 28) :
    Not everyone has said that. You can decide if the shoe fits.

  • Comment 50, posted at 22.03.15 23:40:37 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 48) :

    It’s not about intent or potential harm.

    The law defines 3 situations:
    (1) The player is lifted and then forced or ‘speared’ into the ground (red card offence)
    (2) The lifted player is dropped to the ground from a height with no regard to the player’s safety (red card offence)
    (3) For all other types of dangerous lifting tackles a yellow card or penalty may be considered sufficient

    I watched both a few times and judged Pollard’s case as #3 and Cruden’s as #1.

  • Comment 51, posted at 23.03.15 00:10:09 by fyndraai Reply
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  • It has taken me a long time to come to terms with the bizarre game on Saturday,the first half lasted 58 minutes.The game started well,big crowd beautiful night,every one expecting a spectacle.
    The Sharks hit the field with a manic aggression that you sometimes see in bitter school derbies,unfortunately they came up against a team that were not going to take any shit.
    The red cards were followed by a deluge and a whirlwind.
    What followed was one of the great Shark fight backs of all time against a very tough opponent.
    Wentzel.Botha ,Kanko,Marcel were huge,Chaddy,Cooper and Adriaanse,held up magnificently. as did Lambie ,Odwa,Lawazi.
    We proved in this game that we can beat anyone without Bismark,Jannie and Frans Steyn.
    For a long time we have believed that we can’t.
    Their collective attitude sucks,and no matter how provoked you are you don’t kick anyone in the head.
    Sharks need to look beyond these guys,

  • Comment 52, posted at 23.03.15 00:46:02 by The hound Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 18) : The force player barely got him past horizontal, and Pollard landed on his back. Cruden landed on neck and head with heels pointing to the sky. Two fair calls that

  • Comment 53, posted at 23.03.15 06:08:35 by Dragnipur Reply
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  • Thought bismark was looking at 10 to 12,so 4 bit too bad.

  • Comment 54, posted at 23.03.15 06:12:35 by Dragnipur Reply
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  • Bismarck makes himself an easy target – I said as much after the Bulls game.

    Rugby is a full contact sport that lasts for 80 minutes, if you cannot keep your cool, expect opposition players to bait you in every single way possible.

    No matter what opposition players do to him, his actions are his own, he needs to learn to manage this. We have enough to worry about in a World Cup, potentially having one of your players being sent off because he cannot manage his own game should not be one of them.

    The Boks need you Bismarck, but they need you on the pitch bro.

  • Comment 55, posted at 23.03.15 06:16:54 by Morné Reply
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  • “Actions always prove why words mean nothing” – unknown, but cool quote.

  • Comment 56, posted at 23.03.15 06:18:52 by Morné Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 42) : I agree with you on the Bismarck thing…that can’t count as provocation…it was very poor from Bismarck. But then, that is exactly what the hearing report says: “The player’s kick was pre-meditated, intentional and unprovoked”…

  • Comment 57, posted at 23.03.15 06:38:24 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 46) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 58, posted at 23.03.15 06:41:54 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 48) : Absolutely…that’s exactly what I wanted to say…

  • Comment 59, posted at 23.03.15 06:43:21 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 55) : What you said…agreed…

  • Comment 60, posted at 23.03.15 06:49:13 by pastorshark Reply
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  • On the subject of cards for spear tackles:
    - I’ve just watched the Lions Rebels highlights.
    - Jeepers, if the Rebels bloke got a yellow for that alleged spear tackle, then the Force bloke against the Bulls should also have got one.
    That was inconsistent!!

  • Comment 61, posted at 23.03.15 07:26:48 by pastorshark Reply
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  • There are no excuses for what Bismarck did. Totally unacceptable from a captain and Bok player. He should have gone 8-10 weeks minimum. He has to learn he isnt bigger than the game.

  • Comment 62, posted at 23.03.15 08:13:00 by SheldonK Reply

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  • Just one thing before I comment on this particular incident.

    No one has commented on the fact that on this site Bismarck is always described as a dirty player who costs the Sharks with his dirty play. Saturday he did, but it seems those on this site were wrong about him. No offenses since 2008.

    It’s really sad for me. Bismarck is on of my favorite players and I must say the way he has been acting on field lately has been very disappointing to me. Bissie needs to get his temper in check. He’s been such an outstanding player for the Sharks and the Boks, but that temper that has crept into his game (that according to me usually came out in his aggression with ball in hand and making big tackles), needs to be sorted out. There is no part in the game for things like that and too be honest, I feel it is a bit late for the Sharks to punish Bissie internally now, a good time for that would have been after the Bulls game. Because the way he acted when provoked was shameful (Victor was no better in my opinion, but I don’t care about the Bulls players), Bissie should have been rebuked by the Sharks for his actions in that game. Maybe given a rest. Using foul language and reacting to a players provocation is not what you expect from 29 year old 125 Super Rugby Capped, 77 Test Match player and captain of your team.

    Btw, I fully agree with the 4 week ban, but felt Hika Elliots actions were far more dangerous and far more premeditated and not provoked at all. I cannot agree with a 1 week bad for him. Beast could have been very seriously injured.

  • Comment 63, posted at 23.03.15 08:19:57 by Letgo Reply
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  • Liam Messam should also get around 4 weeks – although, I have to say, this head lock thing are happening more and more in games, with absolutely no reaction from refs, particularly when players are trying to hold up a ball carrier.

    I feel the guy that came down with his knee into Cobus Reinach should be given the same amount of time as Frans Steyn (if not more). Steyns tackle was dangerous, but you could argue that he lost control of the tackle because of the influence of other players. The wing that came down with his knee on Reinach’s back knew full well what he was doing, and it could be just as dangerous as a tip tackle. Probably 2 – 4 weeks for both players.

  • Comment 64, posted at 23.03.15 08:20:32 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Southern_Shark (Comment 49) : Glad to hear Fred had a good game – we are gonna need him this weekend!!

  • Comment 65, posted at 23.03.15 08:28:36 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

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  • Well its done now. I back you to come back stronger and more disciplined Bizzie. Chin up and take the punishment for that moment if stupidity…let this be a lesson and move on.

  • Comment 66, posted at 23.03.15 08:51:09 by Sharkfinn Reply

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  • Well its done now. I back you to come back stronger and more disciplined Bizzie. Chin up and take the punishment for that moment of stupidity…let this be a lesson and move on.

  • Comment 67, posted at 23.03.15 08:52:03 by Sharkfinn Reply

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  • @Letgo (Comment 64) : Marshall got off with a warning and the equivalent of a yellow card.

  • Comment 68, posted at 23.03.15 08:59:14 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @fyndraai (Comment 51) : @Dragnipur (Comment 53) : We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one gents. You felt it wasn’t as dangerous while I do. For context, I have a friend who awkwardly landed on his back in standard 9 (not rugby related but he was not even elevated) and ended up in a wheelchair. To me a tip tackle is always going to be dangerous and it’s not an area in the game where we should be taking chances with interpretations. It should always be carded but I concede that is only my opinion and it is obviously influenced by the situation I described above.

  • Comment 69, posted at 23.03.15 09:46:20 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Bismark has proved once again that he does not have the temperament to Captain the team.

    He and Frans need to be given some time to check their discipline as they are both currently liabilities to the team

  • Comment 70, posted at 23.03.15 14:45:18 by stevovo Reply
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  • So Messam is found guilty but not punished? Hmmm…

  • Comment 71, posted at 24.03.15 15:59:05 by pastorshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
    pastorsharkCoach
     

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