Springboks captain, Siya Kolisi seems to be walking free of action after a controversial headbutt at Murray Field on Saturday in the test against Scotland.
Thirty minutes into the match, Kolisi while held to the ground by Scottish midfielder, Peter Horne, used the back of his head to strike the opponent to extricate himself as was seen by a lot of the world’s rugby viewers.
Asked to remark on Kolisi’s act during the Saturday test, South Africa head coach, Rassie Erasmus said, “I really haven’t seen it.”
“I can’t comment on something I didn’t see myself, but I know the person and the man he is, so it would surprise me. I’m pretty sure the citing commissioner will do his job there. Whatever it is – if it’s serious and Siya’s in the wrong, then what comes our way we have to accept. But I haven’t seen the incident so I can’t really comment.”
According to World Rugby’s citing policy, the Citing Commissioner has 24 hours after the final whistle in which to cite any incidents – which would’ve been around 21:00 on Sunday. However, a statement from global governing body World Rugby said Kolisi had received a warning from citing commissioner, David Pelton for striking with the head during the match at Murrayfield but that the offence did not merit a red card.
Such light action by World Rugby to Kolisi’s act has had talk in the rugby world expressing discontent with how issues are being handled. Scottish fullback Stuart Hogg in a press release questioned the reliability of the TMO.
“These things happen but you question what the TMO is doing,” said Hogg.
“He can have a look three or four times, or as many times as he wants. The unfortunate thing was we got a good outcome on the back of that phase of play, so they didn’t look back at it.
“Peter Horne is a hard bugger and just managed to get on with it. He didn’t whinge about it.
“I asked Pete ‘was that a legit head-butt?’ and he said he felt he was head-butted. But it has happened. We can’t do anything about it now.”
Kolisi sure does have a four leaf clover as he has escaped a penalty that could be at worst a ban or at least a suspension.
Despite the Springboks captain’s luck not to face a action, rugby critics are not the least impressed by World Rugby’s action on the matter.