Hoskins slams Sanzar

Saru president Oregan Hoskins is furious about the inconsistency of a series of recent decisions of disciplinary committees in Vodacom Super Rugby.

Sharks trio Bismarck du Plessis (four weeks), Frans Steyn (five weeks) and Jean Deysel (seven weeks) have all received heavy suspensions for acts of foul play, with Australian and New Zealand players getting slaps on the wrists by comparison.

Reds lock James Horwill received a one-week suspension for a swinging arm on a player's neck despite the fact that it was his second red card of the season, Reds flank Liam Gill missed just one match after making a tip tackle, and Hurricanes lock James Broadhurst was only suspended for one week for kneeing a player in the face.

'Frankly, I've just had enough,' Hoskins told City Press rugby writer Dan Retief. 'I feel we, as administrators, are fighting one fight and do not have the support of our judicial and refereeing panels.

'To be absolutely honest with you, I am at my wits-end, because I am seeing how we are being torn apart on the field of play and by judicial decisions, and we are not getting the support we should be getting from these people, who are part of our organisation [Sanzar].'

Hoskins said he had been at Kings Park for the Sharks' match against the Crusaders where he had seen the dangerous high tackles and shoulder charges.

'The first one, on SP Marais, almost took his head off and the next, on Odwa Ndungane, went totally unpunished. Then the third one, on Deysel, almost took his neck off.

'Deysel did a stupid thing, obviously, by retaliating with a knee on the guy's head, although it wasn't an injurious type of thing. But still, it's not allowed, and he got a red card and a heavy suspension, while the others were not even cited.'

Hoskins also referred to the Sharks-Chiefs match during which Du Plessis (for kicking a player in the head) and Steyn (tip tackle) were red-carded.

'A Chiefs player dangerously kneed Cobus Reinach in the back, he wasn't cited.'

Hoskins said he had organised an emergency meeting with key figures in judicial and disciplinary structures, where his objections were raised 'loud and clear'.

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Simon Borchardt