Smit faces grilling over Thion elbow incident

Smit will attend a disciplinary hearing in Paris this afternoon over an incident when his elbow caught the French captain, Jerome Thion, in the throat.

Thion spent the weekend in a French hospital after being taken there from the Stade de France complaining of breathing difficulties. He spent Saturday night attached to a ventilator after X-rays diagnosed a fractured larynx and will be unable to play rugby for at least six weeks.

The incident has come at a bad time for the South Africans. They have been branded "brutal as usual" by the French media, who have put huge pressure on disciplinary officials of the International Rugby Board to punish Smit, and other alleged transgressors during the game.

The match was watched by most of the senior IRB officials, who were in Paris for Sunday night's annual Player of the Year Awards dinner. There is a growing appetite within the disciplinary ranks of the IRB to crack down on acts of violent play.

The England flanker Lewis Moody was sent off for punching during Saturday's Test against Samoaand the maximum punishment for striking a player is now 12 months.

It seems inconceivable that Smit would escape a ban if found guilty. The Australian referee Scott Young saw nothing serious in the incident, awarding only a penalty to the French. But the Irish touch judge Alan Lewis flagged the incident and on studying the match video later that evening, another Australian official, Dennis Wheelahan, cited Smit.

The Springbok hooker has no reputation for being a dirty player. But that did not stop the French media lambasting the team, also demanding action against Bakkies Botha for allegedly kneeing the French lock Lionel Nallet.

Midi Olympique, the French weekly rugby paper, quoted former South African Pieter de Villiers, France's tight-head prop on Saturday, as saying: "South Africans and Tongans have always practised a, how shall we say, aggressive, manly game. They favour man-to-man combat."

The Midi Olympique writer Jean Roger Delsaud complained: "If the Irish touch judge signalled in clear terms to the Australian referee ... the reprehensible action of John Smit on Jerome Thion, how could it end in just a penalty?

"Because to 'forget' these offences only assists the escalation of violence, the multiplication of gestures which have nothing to do with rugby.

"Surely the principle of safety precaution so in vogue at the moment should be applied to rugby."

L'Equipe, the French daily sports paper, ran a large story about the Springboks' two alleged violent acts involving Smit and Botha, using stills from the TV coverage to highlight the alleged incidents.

In it, Thion was quoted as saying: "When they [the South Africans] arrive at a maul, they never come empty-handed, it's always to do wrong."

The French prop Sylvain Marconnet, who came on as a replacement on Saturday, added: "The Boks are mischievous and aggressive." Marconnet, however, is alleged to have punched the South African flanker Schalk Burger in the face late in the match.

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum