Sharks’ scrumhalf cleared of face-grinding offence

2009-07-30 00:00

SHARKS scrumhalf Rory Kcokott, as expected, has been cleared of foul play and was yesterday included in the team to meet Free State in the Currie Cup game in Bloemfontein tomorrow evening.

Kockott was hauled before a disciplinary hearing yesterday after the over-zealous citing officer Andrew Prior accused him of an unsportsmanlike act against the Blue Bulls at King’s Park last Friday.

But Kockott was found not guilty yesterday.

“There was nothing in it,” was Sharks coach John Plumtree’s reaction yesterday. “He was in a ruck and his knee was on a player’s head, but the player was not hurt, it wasn’t intentional and there were whole lot of players on top of Rory, so he couldn’t actually see what he was doing.”

The Sharks coaches are understandably upset that another week of preparation has been disrupted by the inconsistencies of the citing officers. Kockott was cited following an offence of grinding his knees into the face of Wilhelm Steenkamp during his side’s 19-13 victory.

The Sharks scrumhalf appeared before judicial officer Dekker Govender at a hearing that took place at King’s Park.

Kockott was represented at the hearing by his legal representative Rudolf Straeuli, a former lawyer and now the Sharks commercial manager.

Govender ruled that Kockott had not intentionally ground his knees in the face of the Bulls player.

The Sharks have Bok number eight Ryan Kankowski, released by national coach Peter de Villiers, back in their line-up and Keegan Daniel drops to the bench. But they do have a number of injury concerns with Springboks Odwa Ndungane and Deon Carstens doubtful starters.

If Ndungane fails to recover in time, Luzuko Vulindlu will take his place and, if Carstens is ruled out, Pat Cilliers will play at loosehead prop with Wiehahn Herbst starting at tighthead.

Guy Cronje returns from his one-week suspension and will take over from Monty Dumond at flyhalf. Argentinian Juan Martin Hernandez, who arrived in Durban at the weekend, has been given a week to settle.

The former Griqua flank Frans Viljoen has been included in the Free State side, taking over from the injured Johan Wessels who was injured in the defeat against WP at Newlands.

The Sharks were beaten 31-6 by the Cheetahs in the Super 14 and, severely depleted, they face a tough struggle tomorrow.

Springbok wing Jongi Nokwe also makes a return to the starting line-up in the only other change to the team that started in Cape Town

TEAMS:

Sharks:

15 Stefan Terblanche (captain), 14 Odwa

Ndungane/Luzuko Vulindlu, 13 Andries Strauss, 12 Riaan Swanepoel,11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Guy Cronje, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Albert van den Berg, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Patric Cilliers/Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Deon Carstens/Patric Cilliers.

Replacements: 16 Skipper Badenhorst, 17 Wiehahn Herbst/Dale Chadwick, 18 Michael Rhodes/Nikolai Blignaut, 19 Keegan Daniel, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Monty Dumond, 22 Waylon Murray.

Free State:

15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Danwel Demas, 13 Robert Ebersohn, C12 orné Uys, 11 Jongi Nokwe, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Tertius Carse, 8 Francois Uys, 7 Hendro Scholtz (c), 6 Frans Viljoen, 5 David de Villiers, 4 Nico Breedt, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Wian du Preez.

Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Izak van der Westhuizen, 19 Kabamba Floors, 20 JP Joubert, 21 Louis Strydom, 22 JW Jonker.

Kick-off: 7.10 pm.

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