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    Steve Walsh escapes sanction

    2013-03-05 10:15

    Cape Town - SANZAR head of referees Lyndon Bray has rejected Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett's call to sanction referee Steve Walsh following his controversial officiating last weekend.

    VIDEO: Steve Walsh "bumps" into Hurricanes centre Conrad Smith

    The Hurricanes lost 18-12 against the Reds in Brisbane, but had opportunities to win the game at the death.

    However, they were denied by Walsh on several occasions. It was evident during play that the Hurricanes were frustrated and unhappy with certain refereeing decisions, especially after centre Conrad Smith was denied a try because of an alleged knock on earlier in the move.

    Bray came to Walsh's defence, saying it wasn't a poor overall performance.

    "Mark feels Steve didn't have a very good day. My argument to that was I don't think it was too bad, but I absolutely support that at a critical part of the game we got a couple wrong," said Bray.

    "I can understand that frustration, but across the game I don't think there's much argument other than Steve had a pretty good day generally."

    In addition, late in the match Walsh appeared to push Smith, the evidence of which is fairly damning, but the Hurricanes captain doesn’t believe it was intentional, according to the 3 News website.

    “You know, he apologised straight away and obviously he never intended it to look like that. It was just an accident,” Smith said.

    Smith was trying to talk to Walsh about a penalty against centre Alapati Leiua who fell on the wrong side of the ruck, without affecting play, while the Hurricanes were on attack.

    "I still think it’s harsh and I think most people did,” Smith added.

    The Hurricanes face a tough encounter in Round 4 when they host the seven-time champion Crusaders in Wellington on Friday. Kick-off is at 08:35 SA time.


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