Van Straaten angry over "deliberate" kick
August 30, 2004

Griquas fly half Braam van Straaten has reacted angrily to the kick he received from Jean de Villiers which resulted in both players being given their marching orders in Saturday's Currie Cup game between the Griquas and Western Province.

The incident in the 20th minute of WP's huge win saw the Springbok winger red carded for the kick while van Straaten also saw red as a result of his retaliation.

"I am very angry about what happened. He struck a nerve on the side of my head," the fly half told The Cape Times. "The doctor says it will take about 10 days to heal. My neck has also been injured, but should be OK with physiotherapy."

Despite believing that de Villiers actions were deliberate van Straaten recognised that he was wrong to react in the way he did. "It was wrong of me to take the law into my own hands. I feel I have let my team down. He would have learned a lesson and so have I because I am disappointed with my own conduct."

However the Western province star has insisted there was no deliberate intent in his actions. "It was a tackle situation that developed into a dynamic ruck. Anything that happened was unintentional. There was certainly no malice," he said.

WP coach Carel du Plessis has also supported de Villiers views - and believes that neither player should have been sent off. "It looked like a ruck situation where Jean was coming over Braam. His foot got stuck and it was more than likely an accident. There was not uniformity in the way the touch judge (Lourens van der Merwe) and the referee (Mark Lawrence) saw the incident."

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