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Giteau facing suspension

2010-04-27 12:05
Matt Giteau (File)
Sydney - Brumbies playmaker Matt Giteau is facing suspension and a hefty fine for criticising referee Steve Walsh in the wake of his side's crucial Super 14 loss to the Waratahs.

The Brumbies are still fuming over a decision by Walsh to disallow a try in their 19-12 loss in Sydney at the weekend and are pushing for him to be stood down from this weekend's roster.

Walsh is also scheduled to take charge of the Brumbies' clash with the Reds in Canberra on Saturday which the Brumbies side must win if they are to have any hope of making the finals.

It is believed the Brumbies have appealed to SANZAR referees boss Lyndon Bray to drop Walsh for the match but an announcement will not be made until Wednesday at the earliest.

However, it is Giteau that could miss the next match after slamming Walsh's performance and suggesting there would be no point in turning up against the Reds if the referee was not stood down.

The Australian Rugby Union on Tuesday referred Giteau's comments to the SANZAR secretariat in New Zealand for determination on whether he may have breached the players' code of conduct.

If he has Giteau will likely face a judiciary hearing on Thursday.

There is a clause in players' contracts that they are not to publicly criticise a referee or touch judge's handling of a match.

Unlike the NRL, there are no prescribed punishments for breaches of the code of conduct, but there are examples of similar criticism of referees having been heavily punished in the past.

Former Reds coach Eddie Jones was fined $10 000 for criticising referee Matt Goddard after a loss to the Brumbies at Suncorp Stadium in 2007.

SANZAR has a zero tolerance policy in terms of criticism of referees and indicated at the time that Jones faced a hefty fine and/or a suspension from coaching.

"I don't know if we will turn up," Giteau said on Monday when asked about how the Brumbies would react if Walsh was not dropped for this weekend.

"What's the point?"

"Like everyone who knows rugby, that was a try," he went on to say when asked about a decision by Walsh to disallow a five-pointer to Brumbies fullback Adam Ashley-Cooper.

The Brumbies are unlikely to know whether Walsh will remain in charge of the crucial fixture until Wednesday at the earliest.

The time difference between South Africa and Australia means a phone hook-up between SANZAR officials to confirm referee appointments for this weekend was not due to take place until Tuesday evening (AEST).

Bray is likely to announce whether Walsh has been dropped on Wednesday, but it could be as late as Thursday before appointments are confirmed.

It is understood the Brumbies submitted a scathing post-match report of Walsh's performance at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night where they were unhappy with numerous areas, including the disallowed try.

Brumbies coach Andy Friend did not front the media on Tuesday after voicing his frustration earlier in the week.

"That's up to the selectors to give their view and we can only deal with what we see and I thought the first 30 minutes it wasn't a very even contest," he said on Monday.

Read more on:    super 14  |  matt giteau  |  steve walsh  |  brumbies
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