Sanzar probing Stormers’ ‘words’

2013-05-08 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Sanzar, the southern hemisphere rugby body, say a judicial officer is considering a “match-day misconduct” complaint against Stormers team management during a Super Rugby game against the Hurricanes in New Zealand two weeks ago.

Neither Sanzar nor South Africa’s Stormers would say what the mysterious complaint relates to. Sanzar said it would not comment beyond yesterday’s two-sentence statement because the matter was before a judicial officer. The incident happened on April 26 during the match against Hurricanes in Palmerston North.

Sport24 has, however, learned the issue concerns a Stormers player and a member of the Stormers’ management team who had words with one of the assistant referees at the match. The assistant referees for that match were New Zealanders Mike Fraser and Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri.

Alistair Hogg, spokesperson for Sanzar, did not want to say what had caused the sparks to fly. But it is common knowledge that the Stormers were very unhappy with the referee, Steve Walsh, despite their 18-16 win over the Hurricanes.

The Stormers felt that Walsh had ignored professional fouls and flagrant dirty play by Hurricanes prop Ben Franks, who finished the match without receiving a yellow or red card.

Walsh is not the only New Zealander to earn himself the ire of Stormers’ fans. At last weekend’s match between the Stormers and the Blues, referee Glen Jackson was effectively the Blues’ 16th player, helping the team beat the Stormers with one point.

Among several other doubtful decisions, Jackson ignored a blatant professional foul by All Black lock Ali Williams to stop a Stormers’ ruck and a possible try.

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