Judgment reserved in Div case
Cape Town - A ruling in Springbok coach Peter de Villiers's misconduct hearing was reserved on Friday over his suggestion that the team were victims to a conspiracy to assist the All Blacks ahead of next year's Rugby World Cup.
The SANZAR hearing was held in Cape Town over the coach's comments made during the Springboks' disastrous Tri-Nations tour last month.
"The judicial officer advised us that he is going to consider his judgment and let us know by the latest beginning of next week," Andy Marinos, national team manager, told reporters.
De Villiers comments came after the Springboks had players sin-binned early in their two opening two Tests, officiated by northern hemisphere referees, which New Zealand won comfortably.
"I've got my own observations about the last two Tests, and maybe I can't say it in public, but we do have a World Cup in New Zealand next year and maybe it was the right thing for them to win the games so they can attract more people to the games next year," De Villiers said on Australian television.
South African Rugby Union (SARU) president Oregan Hoskins this week called the SANZAR hearing "a declaration of war by Australia and New Zealand against South Africa".
"We are right behind Peter and will defend him to the hilt," Hoskins was quoted by the Cape Argus as saying.
Hoskins confirmed that the coach had promised at a performance review not to make controversial comments about referees in the future, the newspaper said.
De Villiers issued a statement through SARU after the television interview, saying his unhappiness over some refereeing issues was a separate matter and had no bearing on what he said.
"In no manner did I ever suggest that the All Blacks were being favoured -- by match officials or anyone else -- because their country was hosting the Rugby World Cup next year," De Villiers said.
His comment was based on the view that World Cup success rested partly on the host having a winning team.
"This view has been misinterpreted and I wish to make it clear that I had no other intention than to make that specific point. Nevertheless, I regret that this may have created the wrong impression and raised undue concern for SANZAR and the RWC 2011 organisers."
De Villiers is no stranger to controversial comments.
The coach was forced to apologise during last year's Lions tour after appearing to condone rough play by responding to an eye-gouging ban by saying tutus could be bought at the nearest ballet shop.