According to a report at Scrum.com, Springbok captain John Smit has called out “Cheap Shot Bakkies” for receiving a nine-week ban for headbutting New Zealand’s Jimmy Cowan at last Saturday’s Tri Nations opening match in Auckland, New Zealand. Money quote:
“The fact of the matter is that in a team sport, you can’t afford to have too many big egos. If you have one that is outside the team ethos, it hurts a team,” Smit said. “It was probably the least penalties we’ve conceded in a long period of time but all you remember is one act of silliness. It’s been dealt with, thankfully. I think it’s just reward for silly behaviour.”
Smit has spoken out at odd with Springbok coach Peter De Villiers, who sticks to his story that Cowan grabbed Botha’s jersey and kept him from getting the ball at one point in the game. For a team captain to speak out against the coach’s talking points is a bold move, and might be indicative of frustration on the Springbok team with Botha’s antics on the field.