Home Discliplinary actions Opinion – Akker and Brits debacle

Opinion – Akker and Brits debacle


As if it is not enough that we have to sit every week through some dodgy decisions by officials on the field we now have to expect the incompetence of SANZAAR disciplinary process as well.



This weekend showed yet again that SANZAAR needs to urgently look at the way they handle disciplinary actions against players and the process afterwards.

We had a few incidents over the last couple of weeks that just anger supporters in the way this is handles.

Two weeks back Reds Angus Scott-Young got just a slap on the wrist for a blatant forearm in the head and back of Slipper.

The Judicial Committee did however find that the Red Card threshold had not been met for the offence, and subsequently issued a Warning.

What a joke! If you look at the video you can clearly see him coming into the ruck with entend to hit Slipper in the head while lying on the ground. The fact that he missed should have no bearing on the punishment.

Take a look at the incident on HERE

This weekend we saw in the Blues v Stormers match the officials on the field ignoring a elbow from Blues Melani Nanai to Dillyn Leyds face.

This was in front of the assistant referee and the match referee who did nothing at the time of the incident. We also did not see the TMO coming in which he is allowed to do in case of foul play.

This incident let to no citing by the citing commission afterwards as well.

Tanielu Tele’a was cited after the match for taking out Leyds in the air because he received a red card which means a automatic citing.

He got 4 weeks from a possible 8 week ban due to previous good record and the committee saw this only at a mid-range offence.

The big discussion this weekend came from Durban when Schalk Brits and Akker van der Merwe got into a UFC type fight in the second half of the match.

Van der Merwe got three weeks and Brits got 4 four weeks after their hearing.

The two players was right send off with red cards, something referees should do more when players hit another player in the game.

The game does not need this and we need to stamp it out. His decision to give the Sharks the penalty afterwards was however wrong.

One can clearly see the fight starts with Van der Merwe coming into the ruck with his head which connect with Brits head.

That is when Brits takes exception and through the first punch which ended up in Van der Merwe jumping on top of Brits and keep hitting Brits for several seconds on the ground.

The referee said that Brits started it all, which was wrong.

Let’s get to the evidence before we go to the punishment.

The Foul Play Review Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of 6 weeks for Van Der Merwe.

His clean record and admission of guilt reduced this to only three weeks.

Now my problem is that we should not have a reduction in sanction at all. If the punishment is six weeks then you start at six weeks. If there is aggravated evidence then you should go more.

Firstly, a clean record should not play any part on the punishment a player received.

Secondly according to a discussion between Craig Lewis and Stefan Terblanche who was part of the review committee, Van Der Merwe headbutt was not missed by them.

Apparently they can only adjudicate on what the citing commissioner has brought to them.

It is also very scary that four officials on the day missed the headbutt from Van der Merwe.

Players making these offences should be punish hard which will be the only way we clean up the game.

The soft hearings and slap on players wrists is just making a mockery out of it all.

These incidents and many more that will come will keep on frustrating fans until SANZAAR and World Rugby sort out their crooked system.