Bakkies Botha gets off,Nel gets four weeks



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Bulls’ lock Bakkies Botha was found not guilty by the judicial committee at Loftus Versfeld on Monday afternoon.

Botha was cited following an incident with Ryan Kankowski in the weekend’s match against the Sharks, but as a result of the committee’s ruling he will be able to face the Crusaders in the semifinal.


Meanwhile Bulls’ centre JP Nel has been suspended from all rugby for four weeks following the his citing for a dangerous tackle on Sharks fullback Stefan Terblanche in Saturday’s Super 14 match in Durban and will therefore miss Saturday’s semifinal against the Crusaders at Loftus.


Nel’s suspension is a severe blow to the Bulls – especially in light of the hip injury to ace centre Wynand Olivier, who has been the country’s top centre in the Super 14 competition.


The Bulls will only decide later in the week whether Olivier’s hip has recovered sufficiently for him to play in the semifinal.


Nel’s disciplinary hearing took place on Monday. The case was heard in Pretoria by Sanzar judicial officer Adv.Dekker Govender.

Nel was represented at the hearing by his legal representative Gerrie Swart.


The defence argued strongly that the tackle on Terblanche was not dangerous.


The judicial officer however after viewing the video evidence ruled that the tackle from Nel was dangerous, and after taking into account the relevant mitigating circumstances, Nel was suspended for four weeks from all rugby up until and including the 13 June 2009.


As a result the Bulls centre will miss the Super 14 semifinal against the Crusaders in Pretoria and also the final the following week, should the Bulls win on Saturday.


Nel has the right to appeal the suspension.

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