BRISBANE// Jaque Fourie, the South Africa centre, was suspended for four weeks yesterday after being cited for a dangerous tackle during the Tri Nations Test match with Australia. Earlier, Quade Cooper, the Australia fly-half, was banned for two matches for a spear tackle in the same match which Australia won 30-13. Fourie was the third Springbok in three weeks to be suspended and added to a miserable three-game trip for South Africa, who previously lost twice in New Zealand.
Bakkies Botha, the abrasive lock, was banned for nine weeks for butting Jimmy Cowan, the New Zealand half-back, ruling him out of the remainder of the tournament, while Jean de Villiers was suspended for two weeks for a dangerous tackle on Rene Ranger. Fourie's ban, which will end on August 22, will include two domestic Currie Cup matches plus a Tri Nations Test against New Zealand on August 21 in Johannesburg. Fourie was suspended last year for a similar offence.
Cooper will miss Saturday's match against New Zealand in Melbourne and the August 7 Bledisloe Cup Test in Christchurch. A judicial hearing in Brisbane found the Cooper guilty of a spearing tackle on Morne Steyn, his opposite number, midway through the second half. Cooper was sin-binned for the offence. "Quade's disappointed and we're disappointed but we're in the process now of contemplating where to go from here," Robbie Deans, the Australia coach, said. "We may contemplate appealing."