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nick-wood-burger-stampIn what can surely only be described as a moment of madness Gloucester’s  loose head prop Nick Wood looked down lifted his right leg and brought it down on former Bulls flanker Jacques Burger’s head as he lay prone at the bottom of a ruck. This meant Wood’s participation in Gloucester’s Premiership match away to Saracens on Saturday ended within a minute and a half of it starting as the referee quite rightly brandished the red card.

However, the rugged Namibian was able to continue to playing the match making several telling contributions for Saracens.  Furthermore, Burger seems to be harbouring no hard feelings towards Wood and even more remarkable seems to be rooting for leniency during the disciplinary process.

Burger told the Daily Mail, “He came up to me and felt very bad about what he did, there are no hard feelings. I wasn’t upset at all, it was one of those things. You do it and straight away think ‘why did I do that – that was so stupid’. My jaw’s a bit sore but the cut on my head wasn’t too bad. I think the stud cut it open a little but I didn’t come off too badly. I don’t know him very well but, from what I’ve heard, he’s not a cheap-shot kind of guy. Unfortunately for him I think he’s still going to have to deal with the citing commissioners but I hope he doesn’t come off too hard.”

Woods’ disciplinary hearing is scheduled for today (Wednesday). My initial reaction to this is that the player should get a hefty ban and should be made to sit out for at least the next three months for his thuggish behaviour especially as the incident took place 73 seconds into the game and from what I could see looked totally unprovoked.

However, some proponents of the old fashioned rough and tumble nature of rugby may point out that Burgers head may have been at the wrong side of the ruck, but I do not subscribe to this way of thinking and from viewing the incident think that is how he fell with his momentum carrying him through on joining the ruck. Burger looked to be completely defenceless unable to bring his arms up to cover his head, even if he had saw the stamp coming.

From what I can gather a three month ban is near the top end of bans that would be handed out for this kind of offence. The apparent good nature of Wood has been highlighted and it doesn’t seem as if he has received a red card before, in ten years of playing professional rugby. Taking these things into consideration as well as what I feel is a soft handed approach by the authorities, as evidenced by the one match ban handed out to Western Province’s Michael Rhodes yesterday,  it would be a surprise to see Wood being banned from the game for more than say six weeks to two months. This would be too lenient for my liking but would be interested to hear other views.

8 Responses to Aviva Premiership: Burger extends olive branch to Wood

  • 1

    So Nick Wood’s punishment for stamping on Jacques Burger’s head is an 8 weeks ban.

  • 2

    ‘Gloucester prop Nick Wood has been banned for eight weeks for stamping on Saracens flanker Jacques Burger’s head.

    Wood was shown the second-fastest red card in Premiership history just 73 seconds into Sunday’s game at Allianz Park, which Sarries won 44-12.

    The 30-year-old’s case was heard in Bristol by a three-man Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel.

    He will miss five Premiership games and two Heineken Cup pool matches and be sidelined until 13 November.

    Wood will be unavailable for matches against Northampton, Newcastle, Exeter, Bath and Wasps, the European games against Perpignan and Munster, and a LV= Cup meeting against Northampton.

    The fastest sending-off in Premiership history remains Mick Watson’s dismissal after 42 seconds when playing for London Scottish against Bath in May 1999.’ – from the bbc

  • 3

    Prior to the hearing rugby-talk wrote : “…. it would be a surprise to see Wood being banned from the game for more than say six weeks to two months” – wonder if the RFU judicial panel consulted our site as part of the process of making their ruling Thinking Whistling maybe not Happy-Grin

  • 4

    2 @ Bullscot:
    The record for the quickest dismissal in the Currie Cup is held by none other that Vic de Klerk, half brother of Golden Lions President Kevin de Klerk and Chairman of East Rand Club, Edenvale Pnthers.

    Vic once told me that he was at Newlands playing hooker for Transvaal in the early 80′s, and directly from the kick off a scrum was awarded a scrum.

    As the front row’s were getting ready to “engage”, he (Vic) just floored the WP hooker (can’t remember his name)with a well timed blow.

    The ref’ (also can’t remember the name) immediately sent de Klerk form the field.

    On his way up the tunnel, Vic passed the ‘Vaal coach Prof’ Pa Pelser who wasn’t even on the field yet.

    Pelser asked him what happened and Vic replied, “He’d been giving me shit all the game so I bliksemed him”.

    Supposedly a true story as told by Vic himself to me a few years ago.

  • 5

    Happy-Grin Those were the days!
    Think the other hooker was Sean Povey, also a vuilgat.

  • 6

    @ Pietman:
    I always say, “if you’re going to throw a punch, do it properly. Don’t get sent off unless the player getting punched has to be carried off.”

    No chance of getting away with stuff nowadays, except of course in a 3rd division club game. There anything’s possible.

  • 7

    @ Scrumdown:
    Gert Smal vs Gary Knight (Ellispark)
    Tiger Norwood vs Frans Oescher(Nuweland
    Gys Pitzer vs Alain Plantefol (Nuweland)
    Eben Jansen vs Morne du Plessis(Nuweland)
    Burger Geldenhuys vs Andy Dalton (Loftus) Dit was eintlik n vuilgat betrekhou van agter af, maar wat kan jy verwag van GBS se neef Wink

    Daai het ek almal gesien in lewende lywe.

  • 8

    4 @ Scrumdown:
    Thats crazy stuff Scrumdown, did he get a long ban after that or was that before the days of disciplinary hearings?



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