United Rugby Championship: Bulls boss hits back at Stormers coach John Dobson

David Skippers
Jake White and John Dobson Bulls and Stormers coaches 2022.jpg

Bulls director of rugby Jake White has launched a thinly veiled criticism at Stormers coach John Dobson for his response to Willie Engelbrecht’s citing following last weekend’s derby between the teams in Cape Town.

Engelbrecht was cited by the Bulls after he allegedly made contact with the head and neck area of a Bulls player in a clean-out early in the match, but the disciplinary panel found his actions neither reckless nor intentional and did not warrant a red card.

Sour grapes

The Stormers sealed a 37-27 victory over the Bulls in the United Rugby Championship clash, and Dobson suggested that the citing was sour grapes from the men from Pretoria.

Although White did not mention Dobson by name, he responded by saying coaches can use platforms to say what they want, but it must not infringe on players’ safety.

“On the record, it has nothing to do with being spurious or having sour grapes. The reality is that there was a head clash in an environment a player has concerns about concussions and everything else,” he said.

“If the citing guy passes it forward and the committee decides that it is illegal and dangerous, then I want to find out why it wasn’t blown or penalised?

“It was in the first minute of the game where there were two TMOs and a referee, so that was the crux of the matter for me.

“It’s irrelevant or not that people are chucking things at me, saying I’ve got sour grapes. I want to know how a guy who gets cleaned out in the head in the first minute of the game with two TMOs and a referee wasn’t penalised.

“The guy that was hit on the head was out for one year with a serious head injury and nearly quit the game.”

Stupid comments

He added: “It’s much more serious than some stupid comments one guy makes about now its sour grapes. It’s not sour grapes when there was a clear and dangerous illegal clean out.

“Surely you have the right to cite, and I don’t want to read any articles where the coach used to own a certain website and feel like they have the freedom of saying whatever they can say.”

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