Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika has narrowly avoided a lengthy ban which would have ruled him out of the World Cup later this year.
In somewhat suspicious circumstances, Sanzar bosses have refused to answer questions on whether they have covered up an incident which saw Cheika break the rules by entering the referees room at halftime during the match against the Blues.
Sanzar bosses were made aware that Waratahs coach Cheika spoke to match official Jaco Peyper during his sides game against the Blues last weekend.
The content of the discussion has not been disclosed, however is is a breach of the Sanzar code of conduct for coaches or players to enter the match officials room before, during or after the game.
The Sydney Morning Herald today reported that Cheika has been issued a warning for his behaviour by Super Rugby administrators.
“As far as the Waratahs are concerned the issue has been dealt with and we’ve moved on,” Waratahs chief executive Greg Harris said.
“Michael was not even aware of that ruling and would not have approached the match officials’ room if he had been aware of it.”
The penalty count at the end of the first half was eight-one in favour of the Blues when the two sides clashed on March 28. The second-half penalty count was nine-one in favour of the Waratahs.
The Blues are understood to have been suspicious about the massive difference in interpretation and application of the laws they encountered in the second half and shortly after the game they learned of the Cheika incident.
This comes after Cheika was last year given a suspended sentence after being found guilty of abusing a cameraman in Durban.
“The judicial officer suspended Mr Cheika from involvement of any kind in all forms of rugby at any level for a period of six months, suspended until August 31, 2015,” a ban that would be triggered by a subsequent proven breach of the code of conduct.
Nigel Hampton, QC, who heard the case last year, also said: “I do not regard Mr Cheika to be a first-time offender and it would be farcical to disregard other matters over the past nine years, including proven misconduct allegations from his time as a professional coach in Europe and a warning from Sanzar during the 2013 Super Rugby season.
“This matter bears a number of striking similarities with past instances, particularly the use of foul and abusive language towards those charged with running a match”
Should Cheika have been found guilty of this latest incident, he would have had his suspended sentence enforced which would have seen him miss the World Cup later this year where he is set to lead the Wallabies challenge.