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Sunday, 18 August, 2002, 11:01 GMT 12:01 UK
Krige escapes punishment
South African celebrations after the final whistle in Johannesburg
South Africa players celebrate their dramatic win
South Africa's captain Corne Krige was cleared by a disciplinary hearing on Sunday of punching during Saturday's Tri-Nations victory over Australia.

An independent citing commissioner laid the charge after an incident in which Wallaby flanker George Smith had to leave the field with a bloodied nose.

Krige appeared before a three-man tribunal at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Sunday and was cleared of the charge.

Springbok centre Marius Joubert also appeared after he was sent off during the game for a high tackle on Wallaby centre Matt Burke.

But the tribunal decided that no further punishment was merited.


It's absolutely disgraceful and Ellis Park has to have a look at themselves
Eddie Jones
Australia coach

Australia's coach Eddie Jones and captain George Gregan said they were appalled that bottles and oranges were thrown in the direction of Wallaby players celebrating a late try during the game at Ellis Park.

"There were three or four half full bottles that were thrown at us but fortunately nobody was hit," said Gregan.

"There were no more bottles thrown when we got back to the halfway line, but if there had been I would have taken the team off the field."

The incident comes in the wake of the assault on Irish referee David McHugh by a home fan during last week's match between the Springboks and New Zealand in Durban.

"It's absolutely disgraceful and Ellis Park has to have a look at themselves," Jones said.

"I can't believe they allow bottled beer in the stands, it's absolutely ridiculous and should be banned - it's quite simple."

Ellis Park manager George Stainton confirmed that seven people were apprehended after the incident and that action would be taken against them.

But he said he was happy with the way security had been handled at the venue after the Durban incident.

Springboks 'held nerve'

Springboks captain Krige said that he was "thrilled" with the victory.

"Failing to punish opponents has been our Achilles heel in previous Tri-Nations matches," he said.

His opposite number Gregan admitted that Australia did not deserve to win.

"We never assumed we would win, even when we snatched the lead so late in the match," said Gregan, making his 78th appearance - a world record for a scrum half.

"We made a great start with those three penalty goals, but had to fight hard to get back into the match after conceding four tries.

"The Springboks never gave up and I congratulate them.

"They just held their nerve better than us, but they deserved the win."

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"The Australians warned the rugby authorities"

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