Apologetic Meyer blasts Greyling
Sat, 15 Sep 2012 12:46
I want to apologise to Richie McCaw
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer offered a public apology to All Black captain Richie McCaw for prop Dean Greyling's brutal attack on his face.
Greyling was cited for foul play, after South Africa's 11-21 Rugby Championship loss to New Zealand in Dunedin on Saturday.
Greyling is alleged to have contravened Law 10.4 (a): Punching or Striking - an action which may well signal the end of his Springbok career.
He made contact with face of the Kiwi captain, McCaw, with his arm at a ruck in the 64th minute.
Meyer, who said he was "very disappointed" with another loss, said he didn't see the incident between Greyling and McCaw.
However, he made it clear that apart from the citing, the issue would also be dealt with in-house.
"I am very big on discipline and it is unacceptable," the Bok mentor said. "I think it cost us the game as well.
"I want to apologise to Richie [McCaw] and we will deal with it in-house [as well], but it is unacceptable.
"We are a team that prides ourselves and you can't afford these things in games."
Bok skipper Jean de Villiers said if Greyling is found guilty he will face internal action as well as any punishment handed down by the rugby judiciary.
"We'll never condone playing dirty," De Villiers said.
"Like the coach said, discipline is a non-negotiable for us and definitely if he was in the wrong we'll take action internally against him."
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said the hit on McCaw was a "cheap shot" but would not comment further,
"It's not in our hands. The referee and touch judge have yellow-carded it and the citing commissioner will have a look at it and make the decision but I thought it was a cheap shot and what happens next will be up to those people."
The win by the All Blacks means the hosts are unbeaten after four matches in the first-ever Rugby Championship season - while the injury-hit Springboks saw their record slump to one win, a draw and two losses.
The All Blacks scored two tries, to Israel Dagg and Smith, while Aaron Cruden kicked three penalties and a conversion.
South Africa's points came from an exceptional try to Bryan Habana and penalties to Morné Steyn and young replacement flyhalf Johan Goosen.
The win extended the All Blacks' unbeaten run to 14 games, three short of the world record 17 they share with the Boks.
In the first half the Springboks put away their kicking game and took the All Blacks on in the forwards with their confidence growing as they held their own in the bruising opening exchanges.
It kept the visitors within striking range of the posts but kickers Morné and Frans Steyn were woefully off target, being successful with only one of six shots at goal.
When the Springboks resorted to the boot early in the second half, a piece of individual brilliance by Habana produced an immediate try.
The right wing scoring machine charged straight through Cruden, then gathered in his own chip-kick over Richie McCaw's head to score in the corner.
It put South Africa ahead 8-3 with Morné Steyn again off target with the conversion attempt.
While the All Blacks were counting their blessings at the inaccuracy of the Springbok kickers, they were also ruing the Springboks' discipline.
It was not until the 51st minute that Cruden had his first penalty shot at goal and was successful from 30 metres to level the score at 8-8.
Replacement Aaron Smith then produced his magical try, which Cruden converted to put the All Blacks out to a 15-8 lead.
South Africa narrowed the gap to 15-11 when youngster Goosen landed a penalty for his first international points, before Cruden kicked two more penalties for the All Blacks in the closing stages.
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