This Time We'll Need More Than Armbands

Sanjay DevaCorrespondent ISeptember 14, 2009

HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 12:  Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana and Jaque Fourie of South Africa celebrates after winning the Tri Nations Test between the New Zealand All Blacks and South Africa Springboks at Waikato Stadium on September 12, 2009 in Hamilton, New Zealand. on September 12, 2009 in Hamilton, New Zealand.  (Photo by Tertius Pickard/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Once again the Springboks have been dealt to by a different set of laws to anyone else.

Jaque Fourie was suspended for 4 weeks, for a dangerous tackle on All Black centre Ma'a Nonu in their Tri-nations encounter in Hamilton.

Once again we see a different set of standards being used for the Springboks compared to any other international side.

The referee Nigel Owens had a bad game in Saturday night's test between the Springboks and the All Blacks. I'm not sure if we can say he is biased as he did an adequate job in the match between the Springboks and All Blacks in Durban this year.

I struggle to comprehend how his performance could have become so one-sided so quickly. I am not sure what the Springboks did to him, but quite clearly he had it in for the Boks in Hamilton.

His very first call of the game from the kick-off resulted in an All Black penalty. Soon after he penalised John Smit for slipping. No scrum reset as is the norm was even offered. As it was the first scrum of the game I find that completely unfair.

Later he penalised the Boks for being in front of the kicker when Pierre Spies made a clearing kick. In the 50th Min the All Blacks were in almost the same position as they kicked downfield—No penalty on that occasion!

I thought the All Blacks were quite negative at ruck time, either coming in from the side, or lying over the ball. It disrupted the Springboks rhythm, but hey they got away with it so they did the right thing in persisting with those tactics.

When Joe Rockocoko took out Bryan Habana in the air, more than a penalty was warranted. Whilst a yellow card would have been fair, personally I'd have been happy with a strong warning.

However when Kieran read shoulder charged Bryan Habana, going out of his way to step into the Springbok flyer, it was definitely yellow card material.

The fact that no warning was even given was disgraceful.

And then Jaque Fourie was suspended for 4 weeks for his tackle.

Whilst it is definitely reckless and dangerous, I find it hard to fathom how it warrants a 4 week suspension. Last year an All Black Brad Thorn made a dangerous and late pre-meditated tackle that ruled John Smit out of the remainder of the Tri-nations. He got a one week suspension.

Matt Giteau tries to take off Fourie du Preez's head and gets no citing—Bakkies Botha legally cleans out at a ruck and gets 4 weeks.

Where is the consistency? Why are there different rules for the Springboks? Why does the world delight in suspending South Africans?

Effectively Jaque Fourie is out for 5 weeks. Usually when a player is suspended, the suspension starts immediately and if there is a bye for instance a 2 week suspension turns into a 1 game ban. In Jaque's case they ensured his suspension starts from a much later date, effectively increasing his suspension time.

It's time the South African rugby union stood up and made a stronger stand than armbands can make. The prejudice against South Africans must stop. Next they'll want to cite us for winning the Tri-nations!