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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 August, 2003, 12:28 GMT 13:28 UK
Springbok pair banned
Robbie Kempson
Kempson's tackle caused Kefu "spinal concussion"
South Africa forwards Robbie Kempson and Bakkies Botha have been suspended after being found guilty of foul play in Saturday's Tri-Nations match against Australia.

Botha has been handed an eight-week ban for "attacking the face" of Australia hooker Brendan Cannon during the game in Brisbane.

This means he cannot resume playing until after 30 September, just 10 days before the start of the World Cup.

Kempson was suspended for four weeks for a "late and high tackle" on Toutai Kefu and will be sidelined until 30 August.

Kefu was carried from the field in a neck brace following the tackle and was later diagnosed with spinal concussion.

The SANZAR judiciary panel met for six hours on Sunday before announcing that the South African forwards had been found guilty of foul play.

Australia coach Eddie Jones was disgusted with South Africa's antics after his side had beaten them 29-9 on Saturday.

"It's a real disgrace for international rugby. It puts a whole slur on the game that we have incidents like this and it needs to be rubbed out of the game.

I can't see how you can get eight weeks for attacking someone's eyes
George Gregan
"South Africa need to have a look at themselves, because that sort of rubbish just shouldn't go on."

Australia captain George Gregan was later baffled at the leniency of the ban on Botha, who will only miss one Test match.

"Personally I can't see how you can get eight weeks for attacking someone's eyes," Gregan said.

"I think that's probably the lowest thing you can do in rugby."

South Africa coach Rudolf Straeuli defended his team's tactics, insisting they came to Brisbane with the "intent to play positive flowing rugby, with no malice".

"We definitely deny those allegations," he said. "If they make these allegations they have to back it up, not just at the press conference," Straeuli added.

South Africa head to New Zealand on Monday for their final Tri-Nations encounter against the All Blacks on Saturday.




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