Rugby Union

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Rugby player banned for a month after altercation with match referee

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Former Springbok Flip van der Merwe was left stunned after receiving a four-week ban from the sport that has left the 32-year-old lock feeling extremely aggrieved and somewhat exasperated with the direction the sport is taking.

Despite helping his Clemont Auvergne side to victory in the final game of the Top 14 season against Toulouse, the South African was handed a month long ban for making contact with the referee as he moved in to contest a breakdown. 

The disappointed Van Der Merwe aired his grievances on Twitter when informed of his punishment, and the player was certainly irate in his post, incredulous at the decision, and also appearing to lament a change in the spirit of the game. 

The referee involved in the incident did not seem overly perturbed by being pushed aside by an onrushing Van Der Merwe, even awarding the penalty to the South African's Clemont Auvergne side.

He did, however, pull the experienced lock aside in the aftermath of being unceremoniously pushed and clearly indicated to him that such actions were not to be repeated.

There were no histrionics on either side, referee and player got on with the game and the incident was no doubt quickly forgotten by both men as the game grew in intensity, with Clemont Auvergne fighting back from a first half deficit to record a thrilling 36-26 victory,

However, afterwards, a Disciplinary Committee of the National Rugby League deemed it imprudent physical contact with a match official and handed the 32-year-old a ban.

You can watch the incident below, and then see how other rugby fans reacted to the ban.

Very happy rugby fans.

The ban will also incorporate the first two weeks of next season, something unlikely to assuage Van Der Merwe's obvious frustration with the decision.

Nit picking bans bans handed out for relatively innocuous incidents, perhaps rugby is going the way of football after all.

Topics:
Aviva Premiership
South Africa Rugby
England Rugby
Rugby Union
Clermont Auvergne

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