Super Rugby

South African outrage over 'king of cheap shots' Dane Coles

Cape Town - Not for the first time, hooker Dane Coles has been labelled the "king of cheap shots" as South African fans fumed over his actions in his return to Super Rugby for the Hurricanes against the Sharks last Saturday.

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Coles came off the bench and scored a try to help steer the 'Canes to a 38-22 victory against their visitors in Wellington.

However, according to the Stuff website, the spotlight has fallen on Coles' tackle on a near-prone Sharks reserve, Sanele Nohamba.

Nohamba was trying to get to his feet after a tackle and was hit by Cole coming in low.

New Zealand referee Ben O'Keeffe stopped play immediately and the two teams got into a scuffle as the Sharks forwards reacted in anger.

The incident was reviewed by O'Keeffe and his compatriot TMO Aaron Paterson. They decided it was not worthy of a sin-bin as O'Keeffe said Coles had wrapped his arm around the shoulder of Nohamba.

However, Coles' action drew the ire of a number of South African fans who hit out on social media, feeling he 69-Test veteran front-rower should've been sent off.

International rugby sites Rugby Pass and Rugby Onslaught took up the controversy with the latter labelling it a "horrendous cheap shot … a horrendous late hit".

Coles has not been cited for his actions by SANZAAR.

The Hurricanes also courted controversy in their Round 1 loss to the Stormers in Cape Town where they were accused of dirty tactics by Stormers coach John Dobson.

Having lost to the Stormers at Newlands, the Hurricanes bounced back to beat the Jaguares in Buenos Aires and the Sharks in their first home match of their campaign. They currently sit third in the New Zealand Conference and seventh in the Overall log.

The loss in Wellington was the Sharks' first of the season. They too are third in the South African Conference, and sixth in the Overall standings.

The Hurricanes have a bye in Round 4, while the Sharks play the Rebels at the little-known Mars Stadium on Saturday, February 22 at 05:45 SA time.

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