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Springbok fans worried for Makazole Mapimpi over outbursts of 'weird energy'

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by Oisin Keniry/Getty Images)

Sharks winger Makazole Mapimpi’s behaviour has come under the spotlight after South African fans grow concerned following his latest Champions Cup clash.

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The Springboks No 11 was one of the heroes of their 2019 World Cup win, famously scoring their first-ever try in a World Cup final when he dotted down.

He rode a wave of momentum in 2019 to secure the left wing position for South Africa after hot-stepping star Aphiwe Dyantyi received a ban for a doping offence.

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After getting into arguments with teammates and officials against French club Bordeaux Begles, Mapimpi’s on-field behaviour was labelled ‘weird energy’ by South African rugby writer Dylan Jack.

After a dangerous aerial collision that saw players from both teams injured, Mapimpi was visibly frustrated after not being able to take a quick tap penalty despite time being blown off from the referee.

Sharks and Springboks teammate Jaden Hendrikse tried to calm his teammate but an angry Mapimpi slammed the ball down in frustration which bounced and hit the referee.

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The pair of Boks had already been warned for dissent in the first half by the referees.

Jack’s assessment was noticed by a handful of other South African fans who expressed concerned for their seemingly angry Bok star.

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Following the game more information came to light as the Springbok winger was cited for a potential eye-gouge on Bordeaux’s Maxime Lucu in the 36th minute of the match.

The French scrummhalf complained to referee Luke Pearce at the time but no footage could be found by the TMO investigation at the time. The incident has since been picked up by the citing commissioner.

A statement reads: “EPCR has received a citing complaint against the Cell C Sharks wing, Makazole Mapimpi (No 11), arising from his club’s Heineken Champions Cup, Round 3 match against Union Bordeaux-Bègles on Saturday, 14 January 2023.

The first sign of troubled behaviour by Mapimpi came during last year’s Rugby Championship in South Africa’s second test against Australia.

After scoring the game-sealing try against the Wallabies in Sydney, Mapimpi sparked an all-in fracas after he grabbed opposite Marika Koroibete by the throat while standing over him.

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