White launches broadside on Dobson: 'It's more serious than some stupid comments'

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  • Bulls director of rugby Jake White launched a broadside against Stormers coach John Dobson about the Willie Engelbrecht citing.
  • The Bulls cited the Stormers' loose forward for what they deemed a dangerous and reckless cleanout.
  • The Bulls lost to the Stormers last week but will face the Sharks in Durban on Saturday afternoon.

Bulls director of rugby Jake White launched a broadside at Stormers coach John Dobson for what he deemed a mischievous way of handling Willie Engelbrecht's citing for dangerous play in the derby in Cape Town last week.

Speaking ahead of the Bulls' United Rugby Championship (URC) clash against the Sharks at Kings Park on Saturday, White said he wasn't in the mood for sour grapes but had the responsibility of ensuring the on-field welfare of his players comes first.

Engelbrecht, a loose forward, was cited by the Bulls for allegedly making contact with the head and neck area of a Bulls player in a cleanout early in the game. Still, the panel found his actions neither reckless nor intentional and did not warrant a red card.

White, without mentioning Dobson but clearly targeting the Stormers mentor who's got the better of him in the URC, said coaches can use platforms to say what they want, but it must not infringe on the safety of players.

"On the record, it has nothing to do with being spurious or having sour grapes. The reality is that there was a head clash in an environment a player has concerns about concussions and everything else," White said.

"If the citing guy passes it forward and the committee decides that it is illegal and dangerous, then I want to find out why it wasn't blown or penalised?

"It was in the first minute of the game where there were two TMOs and a referee, so that was the crux of the matter for me.

"It's irrelevant or not that people are chucking things at me, saying I've got sour grapes. I want to know how a guy who gets cleaned out in the head in the first minute of the game with two TMOs and a referee wasn't penalised.

"The guy that was hit on the head was out for one year with a serious head injury and nearly quit the game.

"It's much more serious than some stupid comments one guy makes about now its sour grapes. It's not sour grapes when there was a clear and dangerous illegal clean out."

"Surely you have the right to cite, and I don't want to read any articles where the coach used to own a certain website and feel like they have the freedom of saying whatever they can say."

READ | Durban, Cape Town brace for New Year's Eve fireworks as URC shakes up SA rugby 

The Sharks may be a team the Bulls have got the better of, but the Sharks have been difficult for White's side to handle in Durban.

Sharks director of rugby Neil Powell has also picked a strong side for the game, but White said picking your best side is generally for the business end of the competition.

"You're going to play against incumbent Springboks and it's an away game," White said.

"It's not a do-or-die game, but the record with away games is between 20 and 30 percent from the games played.

"You want to win every game and only one team has won every game in this competition and they couldn't do so last season.

"We want to be in the playoffs and you want to play your best rugby with your best players in the last three weeks of the tournament."

Kick-off is at 16:45.

Teams:

Sharks

15 Boeta Chamberlain, 14 Marnus Potgieter, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Phepsi Buthelezi, 21 Jaden Hendrikse, 22 Lionel Cronje, 23 Yaw Penxe

Bulls

15 Johan Goosen, 14 Canan Moodie, 13 Cornal Hendricks, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Bernard van der Linde, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Marco Van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje (captain), 4 Ruan Vermaak, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Simphiwe Matanzima

Substitutes: 16 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Sebastian Lombard, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Lionel Mapoe, 23 David Kriel

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