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 Women's team played their first ever November Test match at the Twickenham Stoop last Saturday. We take a look back at the journey as Ireland capped nine new players in a rain-swept London.
Ireland Women's head coach Tom Tierney said that despite an 8-3 loss to England in their autumn international, the team put in an 'outstanding' effort and to get nine new caps on the pitch is 'a massive boost'.
Head coach Tom Tierney spoke to Irish Rugby TV about the Ireland Women's historic November international clash with England on Saturday. Ireland have eleven new caps in the squad as they build towards the Six Nations.
Ireland Women's second row Sophie Spence talks to Irish Rugby TV about being nominated for the World Rugby Women's Player of the Year honour. The winner will be announced at the World Rugby Awards at Battersea Evolution in London on Sunday.
There are three enforced changes to the Ireland team to play Argentina, with Iain Henderson, Jordi Murphy and Chris Henry all coming in up front. Watch as head coach Joe Schmidt announces the side for the quarter-final and flanker Henry talks about his inclusion.
Previewing Ireland's quarter-final clash with Argentina, hooker Rory Best said: "We've trained well and prepared well. It's a massive game. For us, it's going to need another step up from where we were last week against France. I think that's exciting. As a player, you want to be pushed to the end of your ability and there's no doubt Argentina will do that."
Ireland Women's head coach Tom Tierney, scrum coach Derek Dowling and captain Niamh Briggs talk about their open training session at Kingspan Stadium and preparations for next month's clash with England and the 2016 Women's Six Nations.
'It's a quiet presence that takes up a lot of space' - Joe Schmidt spoke today about the impact of losing Paul O'Connell and his inspirational role in the Ireland squad. The head coach also commented on the incredible contribution of Jared Payne and Peter O'Mahony.
Robbie Henshaw, who starred in the centre against France, talks about Paul O'Connell's influence on him, calling the Limerick man a 'true inspirational leader' and 'a massive loss' to the Ireland squad following his tournament-ending hamstring injury.
Ireland team manager Michael Kearney issues an update on the injuries suffered by Peter O'Mahony, Paul O'Connell and Jonathan Sexton, while full-back Rob Kearney reflects on the 24-9 pool win over France.