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01 Apr 2008 09:46
Rugby body Sanzar will investigate an official Queensland Reds complaint that the Sharks fielded an extra man for more than two minutes in their Super 14 clash in Durban last weekend.
But Sanzar’s Peter Rowles does not expect Queensland to receive a bonus point if a teleconference on Wednesday confirms the Sharks used a 16th man.
The Reds claim Sharks replacement Craig Burden was the illegal 16th man, reports RugbyHeaven.
He came on in the 68th minute of the Sharks’ 22-10 win and made two key tackles during his two minutes 10 and seconds on the field—including a crucial hit on a surging Chris Latham.
The Reds are hopeful they receive a bonus point because back-rower Burden’s tackle on Latham stopped a potential Reds try that would have at least cut the deficit to under seven points.
Rowles said Reds team manager Brendan Morris had submitted a “fairly comprehensive report”.
But Rowles balked at whether the Reds would receive a bonus point or whether the unbeaten Sharks should be stripped of competition points.
“I won’t go that far. That won’t be the outcome, I don’t think,” he told AAP.
“It’s hard to say what way the tournament director is thinking but I would say it won’t be a change in points as a result.”
Queensland Rugby Union chairperson Peter Lewis would not say whether there was a fair argument for the Reds to receive a bonus point.
“I think it is inappropriate for me to buy into that,” Lewis said.
“We’ve put in a submission worthy of consideration.
“Obviously if there was a positive outcome for it, it would be appreciated.
“It’s an issue for Sanzar.
For me to be second-guessing them wouldn’t be appropriate—but it’s a genuine issue, there’s no question about that.
“We would expect they look at it seriously but I am not going to tell them how to do their job.”
Lewis said he was surprised at how long Burden was on the field as a 16th man.
The teleconference will be held on Wednesday afternoon after an official Reds complaint was emailed to Bloemfontein-based Sanzar tournament director Johan Botes.
England were fined more than $20 000 for having a 16th man at the 2003 World Cup in a game against Samoa.
Dan Luger was on the field for just six seconds in that match.
An English official was also barred from touchline duty for two games over the incident.—Sapa
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