Steve Walsh escapes sanction
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
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.