Boks prop banned for cheap shot on McCaw
Dean Greyling's two-week suspension for elbowing Richie McCaw in the head means he is eligible to face the All Blacks next month.
The Springboks prop was last night banned until September 30 for his foul act on captain McCaw during the All Blacks' 21-11 win at Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday night.
Greyling, who was cited after being yellow carded by Irish referee George Clancy in the 64th minute, can be considered for selection for the return Rugby Championship test in Johannesburg on October 7. Greyling pleaded guilty to Sanzar duty judicial officer Paul Tully for contravening Law 10.4 (a) for punching or striking.
In his finding, Tully ruled that Greyling, while in the process of cleaning out a ruck "recklessly used his forearm such that he made contact in a dangerous way" with McCaw.
The act left McCaw lying dazed on the turf and both the Springboks management and the All Blacks expressed anger about the rugged act.
"It's unacceptable and I think it cost us the game as well," Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer fumed. "I want to apologise to Richie and we will deal with it in-house. But it is unacceptable."
McCaw agreed with All Blacks coach Steve Hansen's statement that it was a "cheap shot".
"Whilst you don't want it in the game, sometimes it happens," Hansen said.
"I don't even know the guy that did it. It might be totally out of character for him.
"He's sitting there now, I would suggest, thinking he has made an idiot of himself."
Greyling joins a growing list of players punished for using illegal tactics to nullify McCaw.
Wallabies playmaker Quade Cooper has had several cracks at the flanker, shoving him in the head in Hong Kong in 2010 and kneeing him in the face in Brisbane last year.
Ireland No 8 Jamie Heaslip was suspended for five weeks in 2010 after he was sent off for kneeing McCaw in the head in New Plymouth and in 2006, Wallabies wing Lote Tuqiri was banned for five weeks for a spear tackle.
Tuqiri later wrote a letter of apology.
McCaw's team-mates were angered by Greyling's act and midfielder Ma'a Nonu stated the Springbok should have been sent off.
"I think, maybe, if one of us was closer we could have done something. But someone could have got a yellow card for retaliation. You don't need that stuff in the game, really. He elbowed Richie in the face.
"It should have been a red, I think."
Meanwhile, Dan Carter's problematic calf could result in Adam Thomson or Wyatt Crockett being left behind for the two-week tour of Argentina and South Africa. The injury that ruled Carter out of the recent tests against South Africa and Argentina is still troubling him.
Hansen acknowledged the first five-eighth was not yet running at full pace.
Carter posted on Twitter he had his "fingers crossed" he would travel. A decision will be made on Friday.
Only 28 players can travel.
Even if Carter is not fully fit, Hansen may select him along with Beauden Barrett and Aaron Cruden and hope he recovers.
This may be bad news for blindside flanker Thomson or loosehead prop Crockett.
There is ample cover in those positions and one player must drop out.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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