'Mean-spirited' Hurricanes not good for the game
SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: Stormers coach John Dobson says he hopes that ‘cheap shots’ doesn’t become a trend in the game.
Dobson, addressing the media after confirming that his captain will be ruled out for six to eight weeks with medial collateral ligament damage, described his team’s 27-0 shut-out of the Hurricanes as a “very mean-spirited game” that wasn’t good for rugby or for the tournament.
Kolisi, the World Cup-winning Springbok captain, suffered a grade three MCL injury, after being tackled late by Ricky Riccitelli in an off-the-ball incident.
Fortunately, he doesn’t require surgery, but there is a possibility he may be sidelined beyond eight weeks – depending on his recovery.
Bok flank Pieter-Steph du Toit, voted World Rugby Player of the Year, was also the target of some special attention.
Hurricanes centre Billy Proctor received a yellow card early in the second half for a dangerous hit on Stormers flyhalf Damian Willemse and 11 minutes later loose forward Vaea Fifita was sin-binned for a shoulder charge on replacement Stormers hooker Siyabonga Ntubeni.
Dobson said it had nothing to do with how South African referee Jaco Peyper handled the game.
- Article continues below video…
“It was very subtle stuff,” Dobson said of the Hurricanes tactics.
“When we reviewed the game a few times, we became angrier.
“Pieter-Steph [du Toit] went through quite a hard time.
“Seabelo Senatla’s hair was pulled twice.
“We weren’t happy with a lot of stuff that happened on the field.”
The Stormers coach said there was an apology from Hurricanes hooker Ricky Riccitelli to Kolisi, but the Bok skipper was “not happy” to be ruled out for up to two months.
Asked if he felt his team could be targeted, given their high profile and number of World Cup-winning Springboks, Dobson said: “If that becomes the trend I would be very worried.
“It would be a concern for us.
“We have chatted to [SANZAAR Game Manager] Lyndon Bray about it. I don’t think it was a match official issue – they were excellent.
“Pieter-Steph is World Player of the Year and if the way of dealing with that is cheap shots, then it is a problem.
“It is not good for rugby.”