Burger gets eight-week ban for eye gouging

SOUTH AFRICA flanker Schalk Burger was last night hit with an eight-week ban for gouging British and Irish Lions winger Luke Fitzgerald&rsquo;s eyes in Saturday&rsquo;s brutal clash.<br /><br />Burger was cited after the Springboks clinched the series with a 28-25 victory in an incident-packed dramatic second Test in Pretoria. His team-mate Bakkies Botha was also banned for two weeks, for a dangerous charge that left Lions prop Adam Jones with a dislocated shoulder.<br /><br />Burger, who was sin-binned for the incident, and Botha will miss the final match of the series in Johannesburg, as will Jones and his colleague in the front row, Gethin Jenkins. Jones could be sidelined for up to nine months after undergoing surgery on his shoulder, while Jenkins has also been ruled out of the final Test after having a plastic plate inserted in his broken cheekbone. <br /><br />The front row pair were among five Lions players hospitalised in the brutal clash, along with winger Tommy Bowe and centres Brian O&rsquo;Driscoll and Jamie Roberts. <br /><br />Lions scrum-half Mike Phillips yesterday joined head coach Ian McGeechan in condemning the Springboks&rsquo; aggressive approach.<br />&ldquo;They seemed to get away with a lot of punching and gouging,&rdquo; said Phillips. &ldquo;But pulling hands across the eyes is just not sport &ndash; it&rsquo;s not the gentlemanly thing to do. <br /><br />&ldquo;And now the dream is dead. You don&rsquo;t mind when it&rsquo;s fair and square. This wasn&rsquo;t right.&rdquo;<br />McGeechan had earlier hit back at his opposite number Peter de Villiers, who played down the furore over Burger&rsquo;s eye-gouging. &ldquo;I heard a quote from de Villiers that it might be part of the game. To me, that is never part of the game. I am very disappointed he said that,&rdquo; said McGeechan. &ldquo;It certainly wouldn&rsquo;t be part of a game I want to be associated with.&rdquo;