Mapoe and Sharks to appeal Bloem ruling

2010-10-01 00:00

LIONEL Mapoe, the Springbok Sevens player, has lodged a motion to appeal against the Bloemfontein High Court judgment that ordered the Free State wing to return immediately to the Cheetahs.

The Sharks lost their battle to secure the services of Mapoe on Wednesday when Judge Corné van Zyl ordered Mapoe to report to the Cheetahs by 3 pm yesterday.

Mapoe did not make the journey to Bloemfontein, but instead he and the Sharks — as second respondents — lodged motions to appeal before the mid-afternoon deadline. This was confirmed by Sharks commercial manager Rudolf Straeuli, who told The Witness yesterday they are now waiting to hear when the appeal will be heard in Bloemfontein.

Straeuli confirmed reports that the Lions had made Springbok wing JP Pietersen “a huge offer” to move to Johannesburg when he has seen out his current contract with the Sharks at year end.

“We obviously want to keep JP here in Durban and we have offered him a very good contract. But we cannot match what the Lions are offering, which is more than we are paying our other senior Springboks. Not only would it be outside our budget, but it would unsettling for our other senior players if we made an exception with JP and tried to match the Lions’ contract.”

Straeuli said that all the Sharks’ high-profile players and Springboks, with the exception of Pietersen, have signed contracts for next year.

The SA Rugby Union yesterday confirmed yesterday’s Witness report that Sharks No. 8 Ryan Kankowski has been suspended from all forms of rugby for one week after he was found guilty of foul play during Saturday’s Currie Cup game against the Lions in Johannesburg.

Kankowski was cited for stamping on Lions flank Trevor Hall during the 75th minute of the game. Referee Jason Jaftha penalised Kankowski with a yellow card after the incident.

A telephonic Saru judicial hearing was held on Wednesday, which was chaired by advocate Rob Stelzner.

Kankowski pleaded not guilty. His defence argued that he was in the process of falling backwards, which forced him to lift one leg to regain his balance and that resulted in him placing his foot on his opponent as he regained his balance. It was also argued that the Sharks No. 8 did not have the benefit of being able to stop during the incident to regain his balance and ensure that his foot was placed away from his opponent.

Stelzner, after considering all relevant facts and available video evidence, recommended a suspension of two weeks. However, he reduced the recommended sanction to one week after ruling that Kankowski’s action was impulsive rather than reckless. He added that the act was retaliatory and was not done with malice or forethought.

As a result Kankowski was suspended for today’s Currie Cup game against the Leopards in Durban, but will be available for next Saturday’s Newlands clash against Western Province.

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