Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bakkies Botha injures Marcos Ayerza with big charge towards tryline

Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill has criticised Heineken Cup organisors for the lack of punishment for Toulon lock Bakkies Botha after Marcos Ayerze broke his collarbone attempting to tackle him on Sunday.

Cockerill feels that Botha should have been charged with 'excessive use of the knee' after he stormed towards the tryline at the Stade Felix Mayol in the Tigers' 21-15 Quarter Final loss. 

The former England hooker, no saint himself, was disgusted when hearing that Botha was not cited by ERC, and went on to accuse them of being out of touch with the modern game.

"Marcos has broken his collarbone in two. He will have surgery to have it plated and repaired, and he will be out for three months," explained an incensed Cockerill.

"I have been told that there will be no citing of the incident. The citing officer put it forward as a citable offence but the gatekeeper from ERC's disciplinary section has decided that it is not worthy of a citing. From the footage we have seen, we felt that it was an illegal act of jumping into a tackle.

"It caused a lot of damage to the player and I am very disappointed in the attitude that ERC have come back to us with. And I am bitterly disappointed with the inconsistency at disciplinary level within ERC yet again. They have failed to deal with what, in my opinion, is an act of foul play.

"I am pretty sure it is against the laws of the game to hurdle into a player – and that has caused damage to our player who will now miss the rest of the season."

Argentine Ayerza said he was in a lot of pain before the operation, which will involve plates and screws. He said that he was told by club doctors that he'll be out of rugby for about nine weeks.

"For me, that is a disgraceful decision to not, at least, have a hearing to look at all of the facts," continued Cockerill. "To lose one of the best loosehead props in the world in that fashion is disappointing. It leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

"The rule-makers are so fussy on so many things but, when something like this happens, the disciplinary panels and officers decide there is no case to answer."

Some felt that it was actually Botha who was unlucky in this instance, as the try wasn't awarded. View the footage below and you can decide for yourself if there was a jump into the tackle or not.

Toulon vs Leicester Tigers highlights | Heineken Cup Quarter Final highlights

Posted by Rugbydump at 11:34 am | View Comments (66)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play, Heineken Cup

Viewing 66 comments

Guest April 11, 2013 3:45 pm

don't see the logic in a player being cited just because the other player got injured. it was a great run, beauty of the game.

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Guest2 April 11, 2013 3:53 pm

I don't get it? What exactly did he do wrong?

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gerard April 11, 2013 3:54 pm

I agree this was a great run and nothing that should link to being cited!

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LH April 11, 2013 3:58 pm

Just strong running. Not Botha's fault Ayerze's made of glass.

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coops April 12, 2013 1:51 am

Ha. I'm sure you, on the other hand, would have levelled him?!

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Rupert April 11, 2013 3:59 pm

It's not tiddlywinks. Botha would have to be 'jumping' pretty damn horizontal or even downward to connect with the prop like he did; he's a tall man and the defender was tackling awkwardly low.

Also I wouldn't really agree with him being 'one of the best loosehead props in the world'.

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BestHookerInTown April 11, 2013 3:59 pm

Fantastic run by Botha, showed incredible pass and strength. In fact if anybody is to be cited it should be Cockerill for bringing the game into disrepute for the claims he has made.

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BestHookerInTown April 11, 2013 3:59 pm

*pace even instead of pass!!

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Guest April 11, 2013 3:59 pm

No need to cite Bakkies. Bad luck for Ayerza. It's not ballet, and Ayerza has done worse in his career without getting cited.

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Nahuel April 11, 2013 4:00 pm

Was it try? NO. Good for Ayerza

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4LC4TR4Z April 12, 2013 8:56 am

The ref refused the try saying Bakkies was crawling.

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HowardTheDuck April 11, 2013 4:03 pm

Nothing there, just an unfortunate contact. Good call. No try. Give Ayerza a pat on the back and let's move on.

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Warhorse April 11, 2013 4:04 pm

Cockerill was complaining that Botha jumped into the tackle, which is dangerous indeed, but I cannot see anything along those lines happening here
It was no different from a player diving through/past a defender to the tryline (which, I suppose is what Botha tried, but somehow managed to misjudge how long his arms were...)

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elvis15 April 11, 2013 7:18 pm

Certainly nothing like the 'hurdle' he described. Perhaps another camera angle would reveal a different story (much the same as the try) but I can't even see that being so different to suggest he jumped or even ran with overly high knees into the tackle.

No try, no citing, all the right calls.

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Guy April 11, 2013 4:05 pm

Given his reputation I never thought I was ever going to say this but...I think Bakkies is completely innocent in this case. There is no evidence of jumping into the tackler whatsoever.

Bad luck for Ayerza and I hope he gets well soon.

Cockerill should have known better, his comments make him seem like a very sore loser.

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UpTheLowEnd April 12, 2013 11:12 am

Yeah but you can only assume that Cockerill has footage from a clearer viewpoint, sore loser or not, with no discernible evidence, you think he's gonna kick up such a fuss?? With the evidence here i'd say no try, no citing, but I can only assume theres other footage that we haven't seen. As we all know, angles lie all the time.

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tao April 12, 2013 10:25 pm

We don't have to assume anything, and with Cockerill, it's long past the point in which he gets the benefit of the doubt. One of the most egregious 'jabber-mouths' among the coaching ranks, he's always working some angle. The fact that his 'communications' often have some merit gets lost by the sheer volume of his talking and cynical gamesmanship he plays. It's like he can't help himself, and he takes a 'no battle too small' attitude.

There is no evidence to suggest anything here is due to wrongdoing, and I'm no fan of Mr Botha.

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Colombes April 11, 2013 4:08 pm

Fantastic charge from Botha

I don't really get Cockerill usual moanings in general, and this new antic just confirm that he can't take the defeat graciously. these sour grapes ternish a great perf of the Tigers who just lost vs a more powerful team and a great Wilko

PS: Tricky, but the try was rightly disallowed for double-movement

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Smiffy_Ref April 11, 2013 4:10 pm

Absolutely nothing wrong with the run by Botha, it was just unlucky for Ayerza that he was the one standing in his way.
Cockerill should in fact be glad that it was Ayerza in the way as anyone else would have probably been snapped in half by that charge and not have had a hope of stopping the try from being scored.

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Guest April 11, 2013 4:10 pm

when exactly did he jump??

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robin April 11, 2013 4:12 pm

Cockerill should keep his mouth shut. He degrades the game because he talks nonsense. He degrades the game because he claims illegal play and names his imagined culptits even when there is no blame. Botha was the last player in an excellent attack all he did was plunge for the line. The fact Ayerza broke his collar bone is very sad for him. Best not to get wrong way up against a rampaging Botha.

It was not an offence! Unlike Cockerill.

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Guest April 11, 2013 4:17 pm

Why was that not a try!?

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Andy April 11, 2013 4:25 pm

Because he crawled along the ground, with three movements, to ground the ball.

Nothing wrong in the challenge either. Fair play

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aidy668 April 11, 2013 4:30 pm

Because you have to score with your first movementyou cant ground the ball then keep moving it forwards in separate movements ( botha made 3 separate movements before grounding the ball over the line)

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eddie-george April 11, 2013 4:19 pm

Not the first time Cockerill has had way too much to say for himself. Pretty clear here that Bakkies was diving for the try-line; and unless the suits decide to outlaw this, it's legal play all day long.

You do feel for Cockerill and the Tigers - and mostly for Ayerza of course - for losing one of their top players to injury. But seriously, anyone who doesn't accept that collisions and unfortunate injuries of this sort occur in the game probably shouldn't be involved in it.

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Fitzy April 11, 2013 4:23 pm

Didn't see anything wrong with the contact.Storm in a tea cup

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Ix April 11, 2013 4:27 pm

I'm sorry, but I cannot see what Cockerill is going on about here. This is rugby for heaven's sake; it was a great run and an unfortunate injury, but these things happen. There is no way in hell that Botha would have been able to make that run even half as effective as it was had he either jumped or deliberately gone for the knee. Ridiculous complaint.

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Guest April 11, 2013 4:30 pm

Ayerza put his head in the wrong spot and got injured. would be ridiculous to cite someone for a legal bump which was Ayerza's fault.

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Gustavo Reginato April 11, 2013 4:31 pm

If Botha used the knee to make contact, is there no problem ?

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Conman April 11, 2013 4:33 pm

Botha obviously has a fairly bad reputation but I can't for the life of me see anything wrong here. He's runing flat out, at pace, on a great line. Unfortunate for Ayerza to get injured but no blame whatsoever on Botha. These things happen in contact sport.

As for the disallowed try, I can see why the ref disallowed it but watching the slow mo, it's clear Ayerza didn't hold him in the tackle, so Botha is allowed to get up, before he can he is tackled again and then places the ball over the line. If you take the secondary tackle as the completed tackle, he's allowed one movement, so I believe the try should have stood. No blame to the ref calling what he sees but a TMO may have awarded it on that basis.

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Gonzoman April 12, 2013 3:09 pm

I agree with your first point, but I believe you are mistaken on the second. Botha is not held in the first tackle but he never regains his feet and instead crawls towards the line before two opponents jump on him. The law is pretty clear that if you are not on your feet you are not in the game. Botha should have regained his feet or released the ball, therefore the ref made the correct call.

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aidy668 April 11, 2013 4:34 pm

It is unfortuante for both Ayerza and Leicester Tigers that he sustained a serious injury. There was absolutely nothing wrong however with Bothas run or his actions going into the contact. Cockerill needs to wind his neck in!!

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asdfero April 11, 2013 4:53 pm

Oh come on, bones break, it's rugby.

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jelliot15 April 11, 2013 4:54 pm

From where i sit as player and ref, it was an awesome running line and the player got in a bad position, head on wrong side of where his balance was, with feet on bad angles too...Botha is going to try and run over anyone standing 5m out from the tryline...most guys that size would...@Aidy668 - The try was not awarded due to his 3rd movement...The Law states you can ground the ball in any direction (including forwards) as there is no such thing as "double movement" in rugby union. He grounded the ball in front of him, then slid a bit, then lunged no try...BUT should not get done for his run to get him there......And that is coming from an Aussie

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Guest April 11, 2013 5:06 pm

Nothing wrong with this at all, great/hard line.

If he's asking him to be cited, should've talked up the forearm on the ground to D.Cole in the first half!

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Alan April 11, 2013 5:30 pm

Nothing wrong with that. If you're going to try and take Bakkies on head-on chances are 50-50 (or more) it may go badly for you. Lots of players use their knees like combine harvesters - Chabal smashing Ali Williams springs to mind. Cockerill is coming across as a bit of a whinge-bag...

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Fin April 11, 2013 6:02 pm

I absolutely despise Bakkies Botha on the field. I think he's the filthiest, most disgraceful scumbag of the professional era and perhaps ever. I'd be the first to say he should be banned, however in this instance, I can't see anything wrong. It's a legal play, you can't ban a player for making a hard run for the line, if this is a citable offense, then where do you draw the line? say you can't run directly at players? utter crap. It's a legal run, no doubt.

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DrG April 11, 2013 6:09 pm

I was looking forward to this video. I read about the incident on BBC News and the way Cockerill was going on about it I was looking for a lovely "juicy" video of typical old Bakkies behaving badly as usual, lots of controversy, maybe a few groans and moans etc. I have to say though, I am totally disappointed, not at RD, but at Cockerill.. Perhaps a better angle might come out and I will "officially retract" my statement, but from where I am sitting watching this video this "incident" appears to be very non-existent in some ways...

You get the feeling that had Ayerza not been injured then this video clip would have been about 5 seconds long in a main overall highlight reel about how an almost try was not a try...

I have no idea where that nasty old Bakkies was supposedly at fault or where he jumped..

So again, disappointed at Cockerill, sounds like a dreadfully sore loser, apologies to Bakkies Botha for preparing your noose before even seeing the footage, and best wishes to Ayerza and hope he recovers quickly.

On a side note, Toulon is certainly turning into a Fantasy rugby team... bit like the Baabaa's.

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10stonenumber10 April 11, 2013 6:16 pm

I don't feel at all bad for Ayerza. It is an unfortunate outcome of a collision, but look at it logically. Two blokes standing in their boots at about 120kg, one at a hefty head of steam and the other trying to be a brick wall, at this level we're talking not just in kgs but the tons when it comes to impact figures. Add in the variables of limb locomotion, reaction speeds, pitch condition, human error etc., and without a shadow of a doubt, "accidents" or "imperfect contacts" will happen, no matter how highly trained they may be. I'd much rather break my collarbone than dislocate my shoulder, crack my neck or back, it could have been much worse, and he did his job.

Or to put it in boxing terms, you can take hundreds of punches to the face and stay pretty, but it only takes one to make you look like Ernst Joubert!

Scrambling toward the line is a fair call. You see that type of try awarded every week in the lower leagues, usually from a 'quick tap' on the 5m to the biggest bloke on the pitch to rumble up.

First Edwards going at Parisse for on field 'opposition tw*t policing', now Cockerill at Botha for being an absolute destructive unit? They don't represent coaching staff as a whole, but two very big names are absolute idiots. Suppose they could blame it on all the concussion from when "it was a real game"... or have they forgotten that too?

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TechnoMouse April 11, 2013 6:41 pm

Few things more fearful in rugby than a second row on a full charge! Reminds me of Simon Shaw's run for the Lions a few years ago where he almost scored from the kick off having collected the ball at full pelt. Scary. But awesome.

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Guest April 11, 2013 7:06 pm

the only really questionable thing about this scene is bothas double movement on the ground as he robs towards the tryline. The question is how long can one rob until one get blown off. i consider this as too long.
bothas run is classic rugby u run as hard as u can and hope u get over the gain line - shit happens sometismes no intend in this scene.

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kevinhancock April 11, 2013 7:33 pm

What would yo cite? Physics? Its rugby people get hurt, get over it.

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guest April 11, 2013 7:36 pm

not Botha's or Ayerza's fault, people get hurt playing rugby end of. But I think the main issue in this is Richard Cockerill. He does a fantastic job at getting his face in the papers. If you look at the majority of the related videos underneath he has something, often a derogatory comment , to say about either the officials or the event organisers. I'm sure every coach in professional rugby has issues with referees but they rarely, if ever, comment in the news. He's a great coach but he really needs to get his act together.

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Canadian content April 11, 2013 11:24 pm

Cockerill has a point here, in fact, why wasn't Armitage cited for bumping off his opponent to start the movement, and then Basta for dangerously spinning out of the tackle and then dragging defenders with him and putig their ankles in serious jeopardy of spraining! The tigers will never win a game if their opponents refuse to be sportingly be tackled whence a le roster player steps in their path!

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Canadian content April 11, 2013 11:25 pm

Le roster = leceister, stupid autocorrect

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Feddderico April 11, 2013 11:25 pm

Ohhh this is a sad news! 9 weeks without playing is a long time. Hope he can make it to the 4 nations (Rugby Championship) for Argentina.

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Feddderico April 11, 2013 11:25 pm

Ohhh this is a sad news! 9 weeks without playing is a long time. Hope he can make it to the 4 nations (Rugby Championship) for Argentina.

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coops April 12, 2013 1:53 am

I'm a Leicester fan and am annoyed with Cockerill over this. Rugby is all about big carries with knees and elbows flying - sometimes you take an unlucky knock.

Absolutely nothing wrong with that at all - usually if Cockerill complains, he actually has some justification...I can't see he has any here.

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4LC4TR4Z April 12, 2013 9:02 am

Can't wait to meet Leicester fans again next season !
Much more enjoyable partying people than Cockerill or Boudjellal weird talks.


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Benmillster01 April 12, 2013 7:56 am

If Botha ddnt have a reputation for being a bit of a thug there almost definitely wouldnt have been a complaint I dont think - Saying that I don't think anything was in it at all, it was hard running and definitely didnt need to be cited - Regarding Ayerza, i saw someone disagreeing that he's one of the best props in the world...Couldn't disagree more, being a prop myself I think he's 100% up there with the best

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TotesMcGoates April 12, 2013 8:48 am

I saw the words 'citing' and 'Botha' at the top and I rubbed my hands together with glee and thought to myself, 'What has he been up to this week?!'

Very unfortunate for Ayerza but when I was learning the game I was always told to run with high knees because no one wants to tackle a guy doing that.

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4LC4TR4Z April 12, 2013 8:53 am

Meet Bakkies Botha.

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jadawin April 12, 2013 8:59 am

a strong charge, an awkward tacle, nothing else...

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xxxwookie April 12, 2013 10:04 am

I think people are being overly harsh on Cockerill here. At the end of the day, Marcos is one of his guys and he is thoroughly disappointed for him. Breaking a collarbone is a season ender, in two places, the fear would be a career ender. I understand his frustration and disappointment. Also, he was very gracious in defeat for those saying he's a sore loser. He lost, he accepted it and was proud of the team. This is a separate issue from the loss altogether.

I can see what he's getting at, there could be something, other angles could further highlight it. The decision to not look further into it after the citing commissioner agreed it was worth looking into though is a further reason for his frustration, especially when they've looked so closely at someone spitting which left Peter Stringer wiping his eye.

I'm not saying Bakkies did anything wrong, but the decision to ignore it has riled Cockerill up and I think rightly so.

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Tony F April 12, 2013 11:31 am

Cockerill is a sore loser and needs to look at himself as he brings the game into disrepute with his ill-advised comments.
Nothing wrong with Botha's run and Ayerza was simply unlucky and can blame himself for being in a poor position.

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Guest00 April 12, 2013 1:21 pm

Got to agree with the general opinion on this - Botha does have a history of nasty overphysical play (crosses the 'hard but fair' line too often for me) but in this case he doesn't seem to have done anything wrong. Never like to see serious injuries but on occasions in a physical sport they happen.

Aren't injury-causing incidents always reviewed for potential foul play? Unless there are more camera angles available than were shown in the broadcast footage here I can't see how there'd be enough evidence for a citing.

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Canadian content April 12, 2013 1:45 pm

Ok xxxwookie, so every time someone has bad form in a tackles and gets injured as a result, the citing commission should have a look? That's nonsense.

Even if Botha used his knee aggressively to break the tackle, it's not worth the second look. Otherwise, the citing committee would be reviewing every concussion obtained as a result of bad tackling form. It's a high speed collision game and sometimes people get hurt.

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xxxwookie April 15, 2013 12:28 pm

Wow, massively blown what I said out of proportion. Clever that, try reading what I said instead. End of the day, Cockerill went down the channels, reported it to the citing commissioner who reported it to the disciplinary committee who didn't bother to look at it at all. And no one can see why he's frustrated?

You can't see much from the initial TV angles, but the committee, should they look into it, would have access to more angles to decide what happened. Cockerill has a view that something illegal took place, maybe from his seat it looked worse. Why not look into it, it's just proper procedure. Better to check something out for foul play and it turn out not to be than to let it go ignored.

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Canadian content April 12, 2013 1:47 pm

Oh and cockers is a whinger. Case in point his whining about billy 12trees not staying with leceister this past season and earning his coaches esteemed annointment in selection. This guy talks too much.

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s_conner April 12, 2013 2:29 pm

Looks like a case of sour grapes from Cockerill to me. Stone me though, imagine trying to stop Bakiies on the charge like that?!?! Credit to Ayerza for putting his body on the line.

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4LC4TR4Z April 13, 2013 10:09 am

Ayerza saved a try ! Sacrified himself for his team. He was just unlucky it was Bakkies coming that made him a martyr for his cause but, heroic try saving though.

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Guest April 13, 2013 9:57 pm

Marcos Ayerza is not one of the best loosehead props in the world. HE IS THE BEST LOOSEHEAD PROP IN THE WORLD.

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stroudos April 16, 2013 1:13 am

Can't see much difference between this and Jonah Lomu running over Mike Catt at the 1995 RWC.

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Canadian content April 16, 2013 4:16 am

Lomu scored, new Zealand won, England humbly accepted it.

Not sure where I got u wrong wookie? U suggested he had a case, I cleverly deduced he didn't. Just because someone makes a comPlaint doesn't mean u open a file.

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xxxwookie April 16, 2013 9:18 am

Actually, it does. It is proper procedure. You're saying there is no case based on the lack of evidence from precisely no TV angle where there is a decent view of it. Procedure is that if a coach makes a complaint and requests that an incident be reviewed, he reports it to a citing commissioner. The citing commissioner viewed it and decided it was worth looking into. The panel rejected it based on not looking at it any further. You got me wrong in assuming I said there was evidence from those angles. What I was clearly pointing out is that there isn't and Cockerill's complaint should have the panel at least look to see if there is a case

Again, Lomu was an utterly different situation. He legitimately handed off Mike Catt, England did not complain, no review was required. In this case, right or wrong, Cockerill thinks there was an incident of foul play you review it. If there's no case to answer after a review, then nothing happens, but I can understand Cockerill being frustrated that it's not even been looked at beyond the citing commissioner who agreed from footage that it was worth looking at.

Leicester are not the first team to report an incident themselves and getting Botha banned does not help them one bit, but it does give them closure as to whether or not a foul was commited that has put a player out for the rest of the season.

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