Disciplinary hearings for cited Pumas set for tonight

2013-08-28 00:00

THE two Puma forwards who were cited for foul play at the weekend, Leonardo Senatore and Pablo Matera, will face a Sanzar judicial hearing late tonight.

The players were cited following Saturday’s Rugby Championship international against the Springboks in Mendoza. Senatore is alleged to have bitten Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth, while Matera is charged with making contact with the eyes of flank Francois Louw during the international at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas in Mendoza.

The match commissioner’s citings on Sunday were initially considered by the Sanzar judicial officer, Adam Casselden. He ruled that the two have a case to answer and they will appear at separate disciplinary hearings late today (11 pm SA time).

Australian Terry Willis will be the judicial officer at the hearing, which will be held by video conference.

The Springboks, apart from those who have been rushed to France to play club rugby this weekend, are on a three-day break before reconvening tomorrow.

The 28-man squad, to play Australia on September 7 and the All Blacks a week later, will be named today. They will leave for Brisbane on Saturday.

In spite of the Springboks’ stuttering 22-17 win over a fired-up Argentina, there are unlikely to be more than possibly one of two changes to the starting line-up.

Coach Heyneke Meyer is expected to bolster the back three by naming a new fullback and shifting the creative, if patchy, Willie le Roux to wing in place of the defensively vulnerable Bjorn Basson.

Pat Lambie, who has come off the bench to play at fullback in both internationals against the Pumas, has looked in excellent form, but Meyer may fall back on one of his old favourites, the Bulls’ Zane Kirchner.

A fit again Chiliboy Ralepelle seems certain to be included to provide back-up to hookers Adriaan Strauss and Bismarck du Plessis for the two-Test tour. Ralepelle missed the one-Test trip to Mendoza because of injury and the Boks travelled with an additional prop in Lourens Adriaanse.

Scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar, in spite of widespread criticism for a slow service, is expected to retain his place, with the Springbok pack’s lack of organisation and intensity often leaving him exposed at the breakdown.

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