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Brits ban causes outrage on Twitter

By Josh Raisey
Schalk Brits remonstrates with referee after red card. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The all South African affair between the Sharks and the Bulls at Kings Park Stadium on Saturday proved to be a heated encounter, as the visitors came away with a 19-16 win. But it was not without its controversy as hookers Schalk Brits and Akker van der Merwe both received red cards for a brawl in the second half.


However, the thing that has caused consternation from fans on Twitter is the fact that Schalk Brits has received a four week ban, while Akker van der Merwe only has a three week ban. This is despite many fans feeling that the Sharks hooker was the aggressor in this situation, and Brits was acting in self-defence.

Furthermore, many feel that this was a headbutt from van der Merwe, and potential gouging as his hands covered Brits’ eyes, as well as the barrage of punches landed on the former Saracens forward. Brits is not completely innocent, as he did throw punches, but that pales into insignificance compared to what he received.

While some fans have been quick to point out that the reason Brits’ ban was longer is because he has a history of striking players on two different occasions, many feel that that still is not a good enough reason to have a longer ban.

This is what the fans have been saying:



While a decision like this would always cause a stir, this seems to go much further than simply a ban for two players. Many South African fans are saying that this is the problem with rugby currently, and have not only directed their anger at SANZAAR’s judicial system, but explained that this is why viewing figures for rugby are dwindling. They are saying that there is too much inconsistency, and some players and teams get preferential treatment over others. It is hard to argue with that in this circumstance, as van der Merwe’s actions seem far more acrimonious.

As it turns out, both players will miss the same amount of matches, but it seems to be the principle in this case, and Brits’ longer ban has caused outrage.

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