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Captain Smit defends Springboks behavior

  • Story Highlights
  • John Smit defends his Sprinboks side after second Test win over British Lions
  • South Africa had Schalk Burger and Bakkies Botha banned after Pretoria win
  • But Smit tells CNN's Robin Curnow that his side are competitive but not dirty
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(CNN) -- South African rugby captain John Smit has told CNN that he believes his side are not a dirty team, and there has been too much "whining" following last Saturday's controversial 28-25 second Test victory in Pretoria -- a result that secured the Test series ahead of this weekend's final match in Johannesburg.

Smit believes there has been too much 'whining' following the Springboks' controversial second Test win.

Smit believes there has been too much 'whining' following the Springboks' controversial second Test win.

Springboks flanker Schalk Burger was banned for eight weeks for eye-gouging Lions wing Luke Fitzgerald, an action that coach Peter de Villiers appeared to condone this week.

Meanwhile, South African lock Bakkies Botha also misses out through suspension after a dangerous tackle that left Lions prop Adam Jones with a dislocated shoulder.

The incident ended Jones' tour, while Lions center Brian O'Driscoll also went home early after suffering concussion in the same match.

But despite the lengthy Lions injury list, and the furor which has surrounded De Villiers' subsequent comments regarding the eye-gouging incident, Smith defended his side in an interview with CNN reporter Robyn Curnow.

"We are not a dirty team. We have got robust players but we have played in far more physical games and have never had to deal with so much whining after a match," said Smit.

"For me, and the guys who play for the Springboks, what really gives us satisfaction is playing in games like that -- when every inch is a battle."


When asked if the Lions were poor losers, Smith added: "Anyone who is competitive is a sore loser.

"But there is a way in which to conduct yourself. I am not here to say if they have conducted themselves badly or well -- but I don't think I would have conducted myself in that way."

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