South African management back Venter
October 15, 1999

South African team officials have vowed to defend disgraced centre Brendan Venter, sent off in his side's lack- lustre 39-3 victory over Uruguay here on Friday.
Venter was shown the red card after he stamped on flanker Martin Panizza's head.
Venter will face the World Cup disciplinary committee on Monday after he was red carded for an incident late in the first half.
His case originally was due to be heard on Saturday but officials postponed the hearing.
If found guilty, he will almost certainly miss at least South Africa's next fixture at the Stade de France, and could even be ruled out of the rest of the tournament.
"Initially, I didn't even feel bad about it. There was absolutely no malice intended," said Venter.
"It was a basic situation where he (Panizza) was lying on the ground and he wouldn't release the ball. Then when I tried to rake the ball out of his hands, it wasn't there anymore because Joost (van der Westhuizen) had taken it
from him."
Springbok coach Nick Mallett threw the support of the South African team management behind Venter.
"We'll certainly be defending him. A representative from the SA management will accompany Brendan at the hearing and we'll stand by him.
"It's incredible that he was even cited for that incident. It happened so fast. In a millisecond Joost pulled the ball out of the Uruguayan number seven's hands and Brendan raked the guy exactly where the ball had been," said Mallett.
Venter clearly thought he was innocent when he was sent off, protesting with Australian referee Peter Marshall. He was still complaining when he reached the team bench.

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