South Africans Robbie Kempson and Bakkies Botha were both cited after their Tri-Nations defeat as the Springboks were branded a "disgrace to international rugby".
South Africans Robbie Kempson and Bakkies Botha were both cited after their Tri-Nations defeat as the Springboks were branded a "disgrace to international rugby". Amid post-match exchanges every bit as fierce as the brutal battle on the Suncorp Stadium field, furious Australia coach Eddie Jones accused the Springboks of biting, spitting and eye-gouging. It was a typically fierce encounter, full of bone crunching defence, but Kempson was charged with a late and high tackle that left Toutai Kefu in hospital with suspected spinal injuries. Botha, a replacement forward, will face the hearing charged with "attacking the face of an opponent" during Australia's 29-9 victory. Last year's meeting in Perth descended into a slugfest as frustrations boiled over amid a flurry of yellow cards and, in the build-up to this weekend's clash, the Springboks had promised another physical contest. Joe van Niekerk stoked the fires by declaring he "was just looking forward to getting stuck into a few Wallabies" - and, according to the Wallabies, that is just what happened. "The intent was there," said Jones. "They spoke about it during the week. It wasn't just the shot on Kefu. There were a number of other incidents. A player's eyes were gouged. There was spitting out there. "It's a tactic, a deliberate tactic. History shows it. They talked about it during the week. Why else would you talk about it? "It is really a disgrace for international rugby. It puts a slur on the whole game and it needs to be rubbed out. You can't have those sort of incidents in Test football. That sort of rubbish shouldn't go on." Jones slammed the example set by South African captain Corne Krige, a ruthless blind-side flanker with a reputation for pushing the boundaries. He led South Africa's assault on England at Twickenham last November that led to Jannes Labuschagne being sent off and the Springboks capitulating to a record defeat. "He was involved in a number of unsavoury incidents and I think he needs
to have a look at his position as an international footballer," said Jones. Australia hooker Brendan Cannon claimed he was forced to retaliate after being bitten on the shoulder during the match. "The subsequent retaliation from the South African player was putting his fingers in both my eyes, which was a pretty frightening experience," he said, believed to be the incident for which Botha was cited. "They weren't positive, they were playing the player," said Australia captain George Gregan. "They were spitting at people. They don't go out to play and it's consistent. Take a look at games with incidents, especially over the last two years and there has been one common denominator - it's them." But Springboks coach Rudolf Straeuli, who was forced to give his squad a dressing down after the Twickenham match, bristled at the accusations and asked for proof. "If they make those allegations they have got to back it up, not just at a press conference," he said. "I would never ask my players to play like that. There were no instructions to play dirty." Danie Coetzee and Kempson were both sin-binned during the match, but went for professional fouls unrelated to the cited incidents. Spending 20 minutes down to 14 men, and with a seven-man pack, was too much for the Springboks. Their destructive defence held Australia at bay in the first half but Elton Flatley's 100% kicking performance and second-half tries by Mat Rogers and man of the match Phil Waugh sealed the Wallabies' first win of the series. How costly it was remains to be seen, with Jones keeping a close eye on the results of tests on Kefu, who was stretchered off the field, his head in a brace, complaining of pins and needles in his arms and legs.
The Ireland Under-18 and Under-19 squads had a busy Easter period with seven matches played in Ashbourne, Cardiff, Llanelli, Caerphilly and Bordeaux. Check out some of the tries scored. Full match reports are available on www.irishrugby.ie.
Speaking to RTE Radio rugby correspondent Michael Corcoran, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt was asked about prioritising players playing in Ireland when it comes to national selection over those who are based overseas.
In an interview broadcast on RTE Radio 1's 'Sunday Sport' programme, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt discussed the challenges and opportunities presented by the summer tour to the USA and Japan, and also looked ahead to next month's Rugby World Cup Pool Draw.
Speaking about working with the provinces and monitoring players' progress, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt told RTE Radio 1: "For us, having the best quality of performance within the provinces, getting some really good coaching from the provincial coaches, which we know is happening at the moment, that's the foundation that we need because in the end we get the players in a match week pretty much."
In an interview with RTE Radio rugby correspondent Michael Corcoran, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt confirmed that Girvan Dempsey, Felix Jones and Ronan O'Gara will be incorporated into the coaching group for the upcoming summer tour to the USA and Japan.
IRFU National Talent Development Manager Hendrik Kruger says the Easter age-grade internationals give the Ireland Under-18 and Under-19 players 'the chance to represent their country and experience international rugby' and are 'the highlight of their season'.
The Ireland Under-18 Clubs & Schools team (sponsored by PwC) played the England U-18 Counties side in the first of two matches at Ashbourne RFC this week. Check out the highlights from Wednesday's entertaining clash.
Four of our stadiums through the eyes of four Irish sporting legends. O'Driscoll on Aviva Stadium, Brogan on Croke Park, Matthews on Kingspan Stadium and O'Connell on Thomond Park. The world is invited #Ireland2023.
Irish Rugby TV caught up with flanker Sean O'Brien to get his reaction following Ireland's hard-earned 13-9 victory over RBS 6 Nations champions England. He singled out man-of-the-match Peter O'Mahony for special praise.
Peter O'Mahony reflects on what went wrong for Ireland in Cardiff and tells Irish Rugby TV that he is focusing on the squad and their work this week ahead of the final Six Nations game against England.
The Ireland squad paid a visit to Monaghan last week and held an open training session in Monaghan RFC. We spoke to Andrew Trimble after the session which was attended by over 2,000 cheering supporters.