Nic White lambasted for diving into Wallabies vs South Africa test
One of South Africa’s greatest ever players has accused Wallabies half-back Nic White of killing “a little piece of the soul of rugby” with his staging in Adelaide on Saturday.
The Wallabies put in their best performance of the season as they beat the world champions 25-17, with the final score flattering the Springboks after two late consolation tries.
But it wasn’t just their heroes’ flat performance that enraged the South African rugby community.
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Wallaby heckled by South African fans
The most talked about incident of the match was White’s ‘Oscar’ moment, falling to the Adelaide Ring turf in apparent pain after being inadvertently slapped by Springbok rival Faf de Klerk.
De Klerk could only laugh after receiving what Stan Sport commentator Sean Maloney described as “one of the sweetest yellow cards of the year”.
Former Springbok captain John Smit, a Rugby World Cup winner, was less amused.
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“Yellow 9 just killed a little piece of the soul of rugby today,” tweeted the highly respected Smit.
Another World Cup winner, former Springbok five-eighth Butch James, ripped White on the SuperSport TV show.
“I think it’s an absolute disgrace to rugby that a player can behave like this,” James said of White.
“For me, he deserved the yellow card there and he should be in the bin of sin…
“Absolutely nothing. He makes contact with him on the face. If he continues, passes the ball, plays – nothing, not even a penalty is going to happen. For me, he exploited that.”
Prominent South African rugby journalist Brendan Nel was also scathing.
“Nic White’s Oscar can be celebrated by those who don’t like the Boks,” Nel wrote.
“But it’s bad publicity for the game. It’s not football. Drama can win you a penalty, but it’s a blight on the game. It’s embarrassing.”
Another prominent South African rugby writer, Mark Keohane, described White’s actions as his “most embarrassing moment as a professional”.
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And writing in The South African, James Richardson went even further, taking aim at both White and the referee.
“New Zealand’s Paul Williams has put rugby to shame with one of the worst officiating performances in modern rugby,” fumed Richardson.
“Williams’ efforts were either criminally incompetent or evidence of bias. On several occasions, Australia received a huge boost from a dodgy call from the Kiwi whistleblower.
“Williams put Australian scrum-half Nic White on the line whose actions have no place in the sport. Paul Williams and Nic White bring the game into disrepute.”
White, one of the Wallabies’ most popular players, could see the fun side of things, smiling at the airport as he was heckled by a group of South African fans.
“Nic White you’re alive!” We thought you weren’t going to make it! I thought you were in intensive care bro! one shouted.
Another chimed in with a simple football taunt.
“Manchester United !”
Australia and South Africa resumed hostilities at the new Allianz Stadium in Sydney on Saturday.
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