Bulls' Nel banned, Botha cleared - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulls' Nel banned, Botha cleared

19/05/2009 02:15:26 PM Comments (0)

Centre JP Nel will miss the Bulls' Super 14 semi-final against the Crusaders on Saturday after he was suspended for four weeks for a dangerous tackle.

Nel's ban, handed down at a judicial hearing in Pretoria on Monday, will also keep him out of the final if the Bulls beat the defending champions to reach the decider for the second time in three years.

Bulls and Springboks lock Bakkies Botha will be available for both matches after being cleared of striking his international teammate Ryan Kankowski during last Saturday's match against the Sharks in Durban.

Botha's legal representative Gerrie Swart argued the Bulls lock had pushed rather than struck Kankowski, who was holding him at a ruck.

After viewing video evidence judicial officer Dekker Govender accepted Botha's defence and the charge was not upheld.

Nel was suspended from all rugby until June 13 after Govender found him guilty of a dangerous tackle on Sharks fullback Stefan Terblanche.

His suspension is a major blow to the Bulls who are likely to be without Springbok centre Wynand Olivier, who has a hip injury.

Swart argued on Nel's behalf that the tackle on Terblanche was not dangerous but Govender found the charge proven after viewing video evidence.

Nel has the right of appeal.

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