Message from the judiciary: punching is OK

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, WP on 19 Sep 2012 at 08:00
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Good news, fans and players (well, fans of boxing, that is)… it’s fine to throw punches on a rugby field, so long as you’re provoked!

This, as far as SARU’s judiciary panel is concerned, seems to be the message after Western Province’s pair of red-carded brawlers were essentially let off scot free during their respective hearings yesterday. Both Jebb Sinclair and Tyrone Holmes were sent from the field during Saturday’s Currie Cup game against the Sharks for throwing clear punches, which connected with the faces of their respective opponents and yet SARU have opted to sit on their hands, insisting that because the players were supposedly provoked into these actions, they are somehow excusable.

Sinclair floored Jean Deysel with a punch after the typical sort of pushing and shoving that you occasionally see when a maul gets heated. Now Deysel was hardly blameless in this event – and was himself yellow-carded for his role in the scuffle – but I find the suggestion that he “struck Sinclair with an open hand five times” prior to the Canadian losing his rag and punching him, somewhat laughable. Deysel may have done a bit of pushing and shoving, but he certainly never actually hit Sinclair, open hand or not. Much less did he do so five times.

Sinclair, by the way, has been let off with no further sanction at all, meaning he’s free to play this weekend unless Western Province themselves opt to suspend him.

Holmes’s one-week suspension is, if anything, even worse if for no other reason than that wording used in the judiciary statement. Apparently, leniency in this case was applied due to the “extreme provocation” of Jacques Botes holding his jersey. Well paint me gold and call me “Oscar”, but if that’s the sort of thing that counts as extreme provocation these days, then I would advise more rugby players to come out swinging after every ruck, maul, tackle or scrum, because I’m sure if you look hard enough at the viedo footage afterwards you’ll always find some evidence of that sort of justification for using the fists.

Laughable, is what this is. There was a golden opportunity here to send a strong message to all stakeholders in the game that dirty play will not be tolerated and that punching has no place whatsoever in rugby, regardless of any extenuating factors. Once again, I fear, in the face of a tricky situation, SARU have bottled it in spectacular fashion.


  • Am I confused or isn’t a red card immediately a one game ban?

  • Comment 1, posted at 19.09.12 08:09:21 by KingRiaan Reply
  • Just wait for the next guy who punches. He’ll get four weeks. The citing commissioners are full of crap.

  • Comment 2, posted at 19.09.12 08:10:47 by PTAShark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Well so Deysel provoked Sinclair, from what i saw it was Sinclair that started it by pulling Deysel backwards by his head in a very awkward angle. And since when is holding of a shirt provocation that happens all the time. Was the citing commission from the cape by any chance?

  • Comment 3, posted at 19.09.12 08:14:58 by Dunx Reply

  • @Dunx (Comment 3) : They probably got invited to a free snoek braai if they are lenient

  • Comment 4, posted at 19.09.12 08:23:27 by KingRiaan Reply

  • While I largely agree with your article I do have sympathy with players that are being held especially at rucks and mauls.

    I know it’s become part of the game but it shouldn’t be. The NZ teams especially the Crusaders and AB’s are masters of this tactic and for me it actually spoils rugby. Bismarck was especially targeted this year and I think he did extremely well to keep his temper under control. This is something that the refs need to be stricter about. They also need to be stricter about ‘pillars’ being formed around the rucks. This is nothing else but organised obstruction.

    This is truly a pet hate of mine in rugby and should be stamped out in my opinion!

  • Comment 5, posted at 19.09.12 08:27:59 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • This is absolutely PATHETIC!! This is the message we’re sending out to young rugby players in this country!! Inexcusable.

  • Comment 6, posted at 19.09.12 08:28:44 by Argex Reply

  • still b.itching i see :mrgreen:

    @Pokkel (Comment 5) : what was botes doing to holmes before he got punched?

  • Comment 7, posted at 19.09.12 08:32:02 by Megatron Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 5) : Yes, the holding sucks. But the rules state that if you are within a meter of the ball, you are fair game. Outside of that should be punished. Holmes was within a meter of the maul, so he could be held legally.

  • Comment 8, posted at 19.09.12 08:36:44 by PTAShark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Dunx (Comment 3) : If you go back to the super rugby, Micheal Rhodes also pulled a guy by the head like Sinclair did and got handed a huge I think 6 week ban. This incident was at a ruck and he did eventually pull the guy down to the ground by the head, but this incident with sinclair and Deysel felt the same until Deysel started to push sinclair of him.

    If anything Sinclair should be punished for pulling Deysel like that in the first place.

    Remember when Anton Bresler pulled Nathan Sharpe by the scrum cap and the ref decided to turnover our try and give them a penalty… I can’t remember if Bresler was sent of, whatever the case though, I’ve seen way worse penalties for way less than this.

    Remember when Kanko was held by a player on the ground and he stepped on his arm so he would let go, what was his penalty then? 4 Weeks?

  • Comment 9, posted at 19.09.12 08:37:34 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Saru just keeps on ‘fracking’ up this year πŸ™„

  • Comment 10, posted at 19.09.12 08:38:26 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @Megatron (Comment 7) :


  • Comment 11, posted at 19.09.12 08:40:15 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Judicial Officer Peter Ingwersen…remember the name, useless, biased piece of work.

    I even read in one of the reports that Deysel attacked the, no better than club, player.

    If I were the Sharks, and any other union for that matter, I would take this up with SARU as after I read this I went and checked the video, as someone here pointed out Sinclair had Deysel in a head lock and was bending his head backwards at the neck, Deysel got out of the headlock and pushed the American wannabe away, making contact with his face a few times – no slaps there and then the tonsil hammered Deysel. The extreme provocation initially came from Sinclair. Sinclairs actions were bad but nowhere nearly as bad as this judicial officers.

    As for Holmes, what a flat track bully – earlier in the game he thought it was necessary to push, with force, Reinachs face into a pool of water.

  • Comment 12, posted at 19.09.12 09:01:08 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Some guys are more easily provoked than others, so now the esteemed panel of referees etc. needs to define what is reasonable provocation πŸ™„

    It’s getting ridiculous.

    Best would be for teams to take sanction against their own players, impose fines on their match fees. That should hit harder than giving them a paid week off.

  • Comment 13, posted at 19.09.12 09:07:03 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • WP/Stormers cant win a cup on their own so they need all the help they can get πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 14, posted at 19.09.12 09:08:46 by JarsonX Reply
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  • This is completely ridiculous. Deysel certainly never slapped him, or at the very least not any worse with this open hand than what Sinclair also dished out before the actual punch. Sinclair also started the confrontation with Deysel, but I have to agree, the statement about Botes is absurd! Why does SARU continue to make a joke of South African rugby? Even Province supporters have been calling for their heads this week

  • Comment 15, posted at 19.09.12 09:20:56 by HeinF Reply

  • @Salmonoid (Comment 12) :
    Here it is, from IOL
    “Meanwhile, Holmes was ruled to have been severely provoked but was never subjected to a physical attack as in the case of Sinclair.”

    a PHYSICAL ATTACK as in the case of Sinclair – WTF

  • Comment 16, posted at 19.09.12 09:24:58 by Salmonoid Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 12) : I really hate having to be this negative about the game, but SARU is just becoming more and more of a joke. Peter Ingwersen has to know that we all saw the replay of what happened and that there is no way on earth that what they said in the report, actually happened. Yet they expect everyone to believe the nonsense they sell us every week, even if it is ridiculous statements such as these. You have to wonder where we as the public can actually go and expect them to answer us face to face, not hiding behind a desk while the media just relay their absurd verdicts.

  • Comment 17, posted at 19.09.12 09:27:19 by HeinF Reply

  • 😈 It is unprincipled SANZAR & SARU officials such as Judicial Officer Peter Ingwersen and Shaun Veldsman that hampers rugby from being taken serious as a professional sport.

    The rugby administrators are allowed to create grey areas from a set of black and white rules. IMO, rugby is supposed to be a professional sport, where the administration makes up the most amateur composition of any international sport, with the IRB allowing this.

    The worst is SANZAR where blatant boxing is excused (Brumbie vs Reds 2012 SR, Chiefs vs Crusaders 2012 SR to name recent games) after the fact, but carries the harsh penalty of a red card on the field.

    I cannot go into the details of Veldsman’s bad calls over the past couple of seasons without crashing this blog server, but to make a call “that a player was provoked into punching” is ludicrous!!! This is RUGBY, a game designed with intimidation, domination and control!! What is the matter with this guy!! How does he call on the ref to hand out a yellow for this!!

    2012 – Judicial Officer Peter Ingwersen ruled that Sinclair was severely provoked in that he was struck five times by his opponent with an open hand before he retaliated. The offence was classified as a ‘low end contravention’ which carries a two week suspension as sanction, unless compelling on-field or off-field mitigating features were found. The DC found such mitigating features existed in this case and the sending off was considered to be sufficient sanction.

    The fact the Jebb tried to rip the head of Jean, as if he was opening a Champaign bottle, is in itself then would be a reason to celebrate Jeb getting his block knocked off by Jean. Jeb was the provoker and Jean tried to distance himself from his pursuer! So how ignorant isthe SANZAR Judicial Officer Peter Ingwersen?

    Oh wait! Let’s see how consistent is this ignoramus:

    2010 – WALLABIES winger Drew Mitchell has escaped further sanction … sent off in Saturday night’s Tri-Nations thrashing by the All Blacks… after being marched in the 43rd minute for his second yellow card offence ….However SANZAR judicial officer Peter Ingwersen obviously felt missing almost half the match was penalty enough as he decided no further penalty was required…..earlier been sinbinned for a late, no-arms tackle on All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and was red carded by referee Craig Joubert when he slowed down play by knocking the ball…

    2011 -Deysel appeared before the SANZAR Judicial Officer Peter Ingwersen at Durban on Tuesday… He failed to justify to the Judicial Officer regarding …the yellow card during the weekend’s encounter against the Waratahs. At the end of the hearing, Peter Ingwersen found Deysel guilty committing a dangerous tackle on Carter…Peter Ingwersen concluded, β€œthis was a lower end offence and ruled that Deysel receive the minimum sanction of two weeks.” The ban comes as a major blow for the Sharks. The ruling will keep the 26-year-old Deysel out of two of the remaining three round games for the Sharks.

    I would love to see the results of the next punch up!! I bet you they are going to set an example then!!!

    Well just look at the calibre of SANZAR and SARU refs and …enough said!!! 😈

  • Comment 18, posted at 19.09.12 10:19:58 by KILLER SHARK Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
  • I think its pathetic! And what message are we sending to the young players in this country! No wonder world rugby brands us as thugs! And what crap that he was provoked! Its rugby not ballet…i can think of a million instances in a game that would provoke a guy to punch! But if i look at the standard of refereeing in that game then it ties up perfectly with the citing comissioner! Who controls the refs in this country? Cos at the moment Jacob is doing a better job of country Julius (sorry Rob i know its political but it makes a point) haha

  • Comment 19, posted at 19.09.12 10:52:30 by SheldonK Reply

  • @KILLER SHARK (Comment 18) : I really hope the Sharks, as a union, are taking it up with SARU.
    As for Veldsman, biased and incompetent in equal measures. The one saving grace though is that he doesnt run around with a whistle between his lips.

  • Comment 20, posted at 19.09.12 10:53:05 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @ Killer Sharks (Comment 18) nicely said and this is only but just a drop in the ocean of their biased bad calls. They have their own agendas here as well.

  • Comment 21, posted at 19.09.12 10:55:42 by Dunx Reply

  • @Salmonoid (Comment 20) : 😈 True. The sad fact is that where other sporting codes (i.e. cricket) seems to improve because of technology applications, rugby will slip further back because it becomes a scalpel in the hands of a plumber! The most incompetent refs become TMO’s and now they receive a tool of power to override the ref’s decision??? 😈

  • Comment 22, posted at 19.09.12 11:04:11 by KILLER SHARK Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
  • @KILLER SHARK (Comment 22) : 😈 Nothing against plumbers. Some of my BEST friends are plumbers :mrgreen:

  • Comment 23, posted at 19.09.12 11:10:50 by KILLER SHARK Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
  • I have watched this footage over and over, Deysel shoved Jebb away a few times so he could concentrate on the maul in front of him, one clearly sees him turning and looking away from Sinclair, and infact the punch that caught him was when he ws not even looking at Sinclair, a cowardly act

    We should not cry out when players are not banned in kiwi or Aussie again, our citing comissioners are just as bad if not worse.

    The dirty foul play from the WP thugs has just been condoned by them in the most pathetic fashion

  • Comment 24, posted at 19.09.12 11:34:32 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @sharks_lover (Comment 24) : The worst thing about this now is that on different news and blog sites people, who clearly havent seen the full incident, and have read the reports that Deysel attacked and hit Sinclair, now get the impression that Sinclair was an innocent victim here when he clearly wasnt.

  • Comment 25, posted at 19.09.12 12:01:03 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • SARU have got it the wrong way around. If what Deysel did was really as bad as they claimed it was, then he should have been cited also. It shouldn’t in anyway affect the decision on Sinclair. Disgusting move, no wander the other countries think we are thugs.

  • Comment 26, posted at 19.09.12 13:25:27 by Orelando_G Reply

  • πŸ˜• ❗

  • Comment 27, posted at 19.09.12 13:45:58 by wpw Reply
  • This is not about WP for me – we should be more worried about the Lions. But having seen the incidents, Im really concerned about the message we are sending players on dirty play.

    Rob, you were right in your comments regarding Greyling and Eben – this latest issue shows that we are not dealing with dirty play in S.A.

  • Comment 28, posted at 19.09.12 14:33:19 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @wpw (Comment 27) : so much whingeing :mrgreen: πŸ˜†

  • Comment 29, posted at 19.09.12 15:01:27 by Megatron Reply


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