Plumtree defends 'reckless' Dixon

Sun, 30 Sep 2012 12:52
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Sharks coach John Plumtree does not believe that hooker Pieter Dixon deserved a red card for kicking Arno Botha in the face.

Sharks coach John Plumtree does not believe that hooker Pieter Dixon deserved a red card for kicking Arno Botha in the face.

The veteran was sent from the field ten minutes from the end of his team's tense victory over the Blue Bulls at a sopping Kings Park on Friday night on reccomendation of the TMO.

Plumtree said that whilst Dixon's actions had been dangerous there was no malicious intent, and added that a penalty might have been a fairer sanction.

"I could understand a penalty because he was reckless. It was stupid.

"But it was certainly not intended and he's certainly not that type of guy. It's probably the first red card in his life.

"Hopefully he would have paid the ultimate price with the sending off and not having to sit out anymore.

"So it was reckless, but whether it deserved a red card, I don't think so," said Plumtree.

The Sharks boss was a relieved man after his side held on under late pressure to secure a 13-12 victory in shocking conditions and praised their commitment under serious pressure.

"It was just really an arm wrestle, wasn't it? A battle of inches," Plumtree said.

"The Bulls pack were heavy and we had to try and contain them.

"I'm proud of the way the boys really dug it in because we were at times getting manhandled a bit on the gainline and in the mauls, so it was a tough night for them. They're exhausted.

"Obviously territory was a big thing - kicking, contestables and set-pieces - so there was hardly any rugby played," he added.

The Bulls dropped to the bottom of the table, with only three wins from eight games, after the Cheetahs secured a much-needed victory over Griquas on Saturday.

Bulls captain Dewald Potgieter felt his side adopted the right game plan and had done everything they needed to do, apart from getting the result.

"We played the game the right way, especially in these weather conditions," Potgieter said.

"We created some opportunities but lost the ball at crucial times. Congratulations to the Sharks for closing out the game.

"Tactically we did quite a good job, but hats off to the Sharks, they're a quality team," he added.

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