Nieuwenhuis apologises for challenge
September 17, 2007
Namibia number eight Jacques Nieuwenhuis has buried the hatchet with Sebastien Chabal after being sent off for a dangerous tackle on the France lock.
Nieuwenhuis was given his marching orders by referee Alain Rolland in the 19th minute for `clotheslining' Chabal in last night's 87-10 thrashing in Toulouse.
Chabal required treatment but the decision still looked a little harsh, although Nieuwenhuis revealed prior warnings given to Namibia forced Rolland's hand.
The Falcons back row said: ``I went into the dressing room after the match and Sebastien was a cool guy - he had no problems with the tackle.
``When I went for the ball there was no niggly stuff and when you have a guy like that you just close your eyes and go for them.
``My sending-off made it a bit difficult for us. We went into defensive mode. I was aiming for the ball and knew I hit him hard.
``I can't argue with the referee - he said the next infringement will see someone go to the bin. And the next infringement was me.
``It was my biggest night of rugby and that happens.
``Playing with 14 men made it hard for us. We knew that France were going to come at us but we thought we could take them in the scrum and the line-out.
``This result has put a bit of a dent in our reputation.''