Bakkies cited for dangerous play, now in doubt for Bulls’ semi

2010-05-17 00:00

SPRINGBOK lock Bakkies Botha, who led the Bulls against the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday, was back in the dog box yesterday when he was cited for dangerous play.

Botha charged into a ruck in just the second minute of the game and crashed into the head of Stormers wing Gio Aplon, who was left stunned by the blow and required treatment on the field.

Match commissioner Freek Burger cited Botha for dangerously and recklessly entering a ruck without using his arms or grasping a player.

Botha is making his way back after an extended break following surgery to his Achilles tendon and was expected to be in the Bulls’ team for the play-offs. He will attend a judicial hearing at the offices of the Blue Bulls Rugby Union in Pretoria today and, if found guilty, he could be sidelined along with young wing Gerhard van den Heever, who is serving a two-week suspension for a spear tackle.

Botha was suspended for a similar offence during the British Lions Test series last year.

The weekend’s final round of Super 14 action kept exactly to the script and the Stormers will join the Bulls in hosting the semi-finals on Saturday.

The Bulls, the champions and log-leaders, host the Crusaders at their new temporary home at Orlando Stadium (5 pm) while the Stormers, in second place, face the Waratahs at Newlands (7.10 pm).

Australian Stuart Dickinson will referee the Bulls’ game in Soweto while South African Mark Lawrence is to take charge at Newlands. Surprisingly, South Africa’s top referee Jonathan Kaplan has been overlooked. Former Pietermaritzburg referee Craig Joubert has been appointed to handle the final, which will be at Orlando Stadium if the Bulls win on Saturday or at Newlands if they lose and the Stormers prevail.

All the home teams won their final weekend round robin games with the Waratahs and Crusaders sealing their semi-final places with their Friday victories.

On the local front, Sharks coach John Plumtree said he was proud of his players after their 27-22 win over the Force at King’s Park completed their seventh win in their last eight games.

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