Chris Rattue is usually good for a quote, even though we often disagree with what he is saying. But we are in sync with what he has written this morning about Bakkies Botha, given that he expresses a view disarmingly similar to that which we expressed YESTERDAY! Pure coincidence, of course!!
Anyway, here 'tis:
The best that could be said of Botha is that he admitted to head butting Cowan from behind, on the ground, and apologised. Given the outstanding video evidence against him, there wasn't much else Botha could do but nod, politely this time, in agreement.
Rugby doesn't have a violence problem - it does have a Botha problem though. This pillar of the Springbok pack is a pillock.
Maybe the game simply needs to clean him out, for good, the way Botha does when he charges head first into opponents and rucks.
There might be one worse offender in modern times, the boneheaded English lock Danny Grewcock who habitually mistook the human form for a trampoline.
Botha almost ranks alongside though, with a despicable history of belting, stomping and eye-gouging (or attacking the face as it was put) and allegations of biting.
Botha is also turning into a liability for the Springboks - and should have been sent off in the first minute for his cowardly attack on a prone Cowan - although that is their problem.
The violence is rugby's problem though, and rugby's response is unco-ordinated and unsatisfactory.
A head butt is bad enough. From behind is doubly worse. Nine weeks for that alone is insufficient. With his rap sheet, Botha's career deserved crushing. Basically, he'll only miss the Tri-Nations series.
A bit longer than the usual quote, we know; but Rattue is right on the money with this particular piece.