Rugby Union: Le Roux sent home

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The Independent Online
New Zealand. .13

South Africa. .9

THE South African prop forward Johan le Roux has been sent home in disgrace after being found guilty by his team management of biting the ear of New Zealand captain Sean Fitzpatrick in yesterday's Second Test here.

The tourists lost the match 13-9 in a thrilling encounter with John Timu and Zinzan Brooke scoring first-half tries for the home side. The All Blacks, playing rugby of rare quality, secured the series 2-0.

Fitzpatrick, his ear dripping with blood, complained to the referee during the game about the incident but refused to comment after the match. Neither the referee nor the touch judge appeared to see him being bitten but television replays suggested Le Roux was the culprit; the management agreed and sent him home. The third and final Test will be played in Auckland in two weeks' time.

Despite the All Black dominance, the Springboks were always within touch. Led by the debutant Jappie Mulder, the tourists spent much of the second half attacking, and only robust defence by the All Blacks prevented them from snatching a win.

After South Africa opened the scoring with a Theo van Rensburg penalty in the opening minutes, the All Blacks replied immediately, the winger Timu scoring in the left corner.

South Africa retook the lead in the 18th minute when the All Blacks were again penalised under the posts but New Zealand virtually settled the game when Zinzan Brooke scored a pushover try.

SOUTH AFRICA: T van Rensburg; J Small, J Mulder, C Williams, B Venter; H le Roux, J Roux; A Richter, F Pienaar (capt), S Atherton, M Andrews, T Strauss; J le Roux, J Allan, G Kebble. Replacement: A Joubert (for Van Rensburg).

NEW ZEALAND: S Howarth; J Kirwan, F Bunce, A Ieremia, J Timu; S Bachop, G Bachop; Z Brooke; M Brewer, M Cooksley, R Brooke, B Larsen; O Brown, S Fitzpatrick (capt), R Loe. Replacement: W Little (for Ieremia).