Hoskins 'shocked' at ban
Du Plessis suspension 'extremely harsh' says SARU president
Last Updated: July 14, 2008 11:10am
Du Plessis: Three-week suspension
South African Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins has slammed the severity of the three-week ban handed to Bismarck du Plessis.
"I don't want to hear that I'm correct, I want to see the system being corrected."
Oregan Hoskins Quotes of the week
Du Plessis was handed the sanction for making "careless, not deliberate, contact with the eye area" of New Zealand flanker Adam Thomson during the Springboks' 30-28 Tri-Nations win at Carisbrook last Saturday.
Oregan was 'shocked' by what he perceives as a lack of 'consistency' from the SANZAR judicial system, which had given All Blacks lock Brad Thorn just a one-week suspension for a dangerous tackle on South Africa captain John Smith the previous week.
The Springboks did not appeal the finding of Australian judicial officer Kim Garling but are nevertheless unhappy with the outcome.
"We certainly thought about an appeal, but it would have been a logistical nightmare before a very important game," Hoskins told Supersport on Monday.
"It would have kept a player there in New Zealand for a couple more days unsure of whether he would be playing and a coach sitting here unsure of whether to include him in his plans or not."
Hoskins plans to raise the fairness of the whole judicial system at a SANZAR meeting in Perth later this week.
"It would be remiss of me to remain silent because I believe the sentence was extremely harsh," added Hoskins, who is a lawyer by trade.
"I was quite shocked by the outcome of the hearing and I'm concerned about the whole system and its consistency. I will table those concerns with SANZAR this week.
"I complained at the World Cup last year about the treatment of Schalk Burger [cited and banned for four matches for a high challenge, reduced to two on appeal] and Tim Gresson, the head of the IRB judicial committee, conceded later that I was correct.
"But I don't want to hear that I'm correct, I want to see the system being corrected."
On the du Plessis incident, Hoskins added: "I've watched that replay for hours on super slow-mo.
"The fact that it was not deliberate, coupled with the fact that it did not cause any injury, means he should have been given the benefit of the doubt and found not guilty.
"There is a third factor to take into account and that is it was Thomson's own teammate, Jerome Kaino, who played a role in the incident.
"Kaino hooked Bismarck's arm and dragged it across Thomson's face before pushing him over."
Hoskins said there was a strong contradiction between the treatment meted out to Thorn and du Plessis.
"Just last week, our captain felt he had been spear-tackled and because of that he's out of the whole Tri-Nations. But the guilty party was only suspended for one match.
"There's a lot of inconsistency creeping in and it's not good for the game. It's totally unacceptable for us to put up with this."