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27th Aug 2022

“Absolutely pathetic” – Faf de Klerk carded for slap as Wallabies stun Springboks

Patrick McCarry

Faf de Klerk


Wallabies scrumhalf Nic White was in the line of fire after getting a waft from Faf de Klerk and going down like a sack of spuds off a creaky top shelf.

After starting off their Rugby Championship campaign with a 26-10 win over New Zealand, South Africa have now lost twice in succession. There were three yellow cards shown in the game, with two Wallabies sin-binned, but the de Klerk sanction seemed to divide the most opinions.

Tries in each half from Fraser McReight put Dave Rennie’s side into a 25-3 lead and although the Springboks responded with two tries of their own, the result was never in doubt after the Aussie flanker dived over for his second dot-down of the match.

Faf de Klerk slaps Nic White

Near the end of the first half, in Adelaide, the Wallabies had a scrum near their own tryline and Faf de Klerk was trying to pressure Nic White as he sought to dig the ball out to get it cleared away.

The Springboks No.9 was over-zealous with his attentions towards White and made a rash swipe as his opposite number attempted a pass. White felt the contact, minimal as it was, and went down in a dramatic bundle. Referee Paul Williams yellow-card de Klerk, but not before commenting:

“I know what you were trying to do. You are trying to go for the ball, but you’ve clearly got it wrong and struck someone directly in the face. So we can’t have that. I know you have got it wrong, but it is a yellow card.”

‘Softest yellow cards of the year’

Faf de Klerk could only laugh as he received the yellow card, and then made his way off the pitch. Stan Sport commentator Sean Maloney called it ‘one of the softest yellow cards of the year’, while All Blacks legend Andrew Mehrtens added:

“I’m not sure we want to go down this slippery slope, but to be fair to Nic White he got clipped in the face and it’s illegal.”

‘Yellow 9 just killed a little piece of rugby’s soul, there,’ blasted former Springboks captain John Smit.

Highlighting the incident to his followers, former Saracens and Scotland lock Jim Hamilton remarked, ‘Never. Never, touch another man’s moustache.’

Former Ulster and Ireland scrumhalf Paul Marshall, meanwhile, called the incident ‘absolutely pathetic’.

Boks fans will have enjoyed, then, the sight of White getting an almighty dint by the charging Damien De Allende in a game that saw their side outplayed for long periods.

Marika Koroibete was a sensation for the Wallabies and scored his side’s second try when Faf de Klerk was still in the sin-bin. When McReight dived over for his second score, it was pretty much all she wrote.

Kwagga Smith got over the host’s whitewash for two late tries that, although looking like consolation scores, may yet have a bearing on the final table.

Two red cards and a yellow after rugby league brawl

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