After a long day in a ridiculous disciplinary hearing, the Springboks received the news that their star lock Eben Etzebeth was found not guilty of eye gouging and is free to play against England on Saturday.
Etzebeth missed practice yesterday after being called into an IRB disciplinary hearing for allegedly contravening law 10.4 (m) by making contact with Scott Greg Laidlaws eye. During their 21 -10 win at Murrayfield. The controversy comes into play when it came to light that the person who issued the citing was in fact English citing commissioner Alan Mansel.
Strange that no one else, including the player who was affected by Etzebeths “actions” or the Scottish management found it necessary to raise the alarms. After review by the citing commission and quite frankly just seeing the tape, it was plain to see that there was no intention in Etzebeths hand placement. It was purely an accident. It seems that the massive 21 year old lock is already being targeted by officials for his physical style of play. Much how players like Bakkies Botha and Schalk Burger were treated in their early days.
Well the Englishman Mansel has succeeded in something, if not a ban, he has forced the Boks to practice without the services of one of their key players for a day and a half. Lets hope it doesn’t effect the teams preparation too much.
I understand that procedures need to be in place to prevent malicious behavior, but seriously? Silly things like this call into disrepute the integrity of the citing commissioners and make us wonder if a commissioner from the nation who could benefit from a player being banned should be allowed to review matches?