Super Rugby
Bulls refuse to apologise for gouge claims
ESPNscrum Staff
April 9, 2012
Chiliboy Ralepelle was one of two Bulls players to level gouging accusations © Getty Images

The Bulls have refused to apologise after levelling eye-gouging accusations at the Crusaders following last weekend's Super Rugby clash at Loftus Versfeld.

Chiliboy Ralepelle and Flip van der Merwe's claims were dismissed by a SANZAR citing commissioner on Monday due to a lack of evidence, with Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder calling for an apology if the allegations proved unfounded.

Bulls media manager Ian Schwartz confirmed that, despite what he described as a "cordial" relationship between the two sides, no apology would be forthcoming.

"The Bulls are not interested in getting into a public spat with the Crusaders, as we always had the greatest respect for them and a very cordial relationship," Schwartz told rugby365. "The rules are clear and we applied them 100% correctly. We had the right to raise the matter with the referee and we accept the fact that there was no video evidence.

"I just want to say that our players' integrity is just as important to us, as the Crusaders' players integrity is to them. I feel the players will not make unfounded accusations unless something has happened.

"For them to suggest we must now apologise, just because there is no video evidence available, would mean we have lied. It is ridiculous to suggest that every time there is a citing and there is not enough evidence, the other team should apologise.

"It is a pity they have raised the matter through the media, as our doors of communication with them has always been open for a direct approach. We would have followed the official and appropriate channels."

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