Fourie and Cooper hit with bans
July 25, 2010
Wallabies fly-half Quade Cooper up-ends South Africa's Morne Steyn during their clash in Brisbane © Getty Images
South Africa centre Jaque Fourie has been handed a four-week ban and Australia fly-half Quade Cooper a two-week suspension in the wake of Saturday's Tri-Nations clash in Brisbane.
Fourie was yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle on Australia's Richard Brown after just two minutes of the Wallabies 30-13 victory at the Suncorp Stadium and was cited following the game along with Cooper who was also sin-binned in the second-half for a similar challenge on South Africa's Morne Steyn.
The 27-year-old Fourie, who also picked up a four-week ban for a dangerous tackle on All Blacks centre Ma'a Nonu during last year's Tri-Nations, is now banned from playing until August 22 that will see him miss two Currie Cup matches for Western Province and the Tri-Nations clash with New Zealand on August 21.
The suspension brings an end to a disastrous tour for the Springboks that also included two defeats to New Zealand. Lock Bakkies Botha was sin-binned during the opening loss to New Zealand and was subsequently banned for nine weeks for a separate incident - a head-butt on All Blacks scrum-half Jimmy Cowan.
Lock Danie Rossouw saw yellow against New Zealand in Wellington while wing Jean de Villiers was suspended for two-weeks following the same game for a dangerous tackle on All Blacks winger Rene Ranger. And in their latest outing, prop BJ Botha was also sent to the sin-bin for deliberately slowing the ball.
In a massive blow for the Wallabies, Cooper will miss Australia's back-to-back Bledisloe Cup Tests against New Zealand in Melbourne next Saturday and in Christchurch the following week.
He appeared before SANZAR's Bruce Squire QC of New Zealand in Brisbane on Sunday. Squire found Cooper guilty of a breach of Law 10.4 (j). He compared the offence to that of Springbok wing Jean de Villiers in last week's Tri-Nations match against the All Blacks, for which the South African was suspended for two weeks.
"This is consistent application in terms of like penalties for like offences," said Squire. The suspension ends on August 8 but Wallabies coach Robbie Deans revealed he would consider an appeal.
"Obviously Quade's disappointed, we're disappointed but we're in the process now of contemplating where to from here," Deans told reporters. "It obviously means that we're posed with a different challenge I guess, but it will still be a significant challenge that we'll bring to Melbourne."
In a further blow to the Wallabies' Tri-Nations aspirations winger Digby Ioane has been ruled out of the remainder of the competition with a shoulder injury. Ioane had dislocated his left shoulder during the Wallabies 21-20 loss to England in Sydney last month and was expected to be out for the season before a later assessment offered hope he may be fit for the Melbourne clash against the All Blacks.
But a recurrence of the injury in training has dashed those hope. "It's tough on Digby because he got his hopes up," Deans said. "He's a tough bloke and he's a great bloke and he deserves a lot. He will get a lot. He will be rewarded as an individual he's just paying forward, I guess."
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