Giteau fined for ref rant

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Giteau fined for ref rant

Brumbies flyhalf Matt Giteau has been fined A$5,000 dollars after criticising Steve Walsh’s performance in last week’s loss to the Waratahs.

When asked what the team will do if Walsh was not removed from this week’s game against the Reds, Giteau told reporters: ‘I don’t know if we will turn up, what’s the point?’. He also lamented Walsh’s decision not to award Adam Ashley-Cooper’s try. ‘Like everyone who knows rugby, that was a try,’ he said.

Walsh has since been replaced by Chris Pollock, but Giteau has also been punished. Sanzar judicial officer Terry Willis said the fact that Giteau had no prior offences counted in his favour.

Giteau, who plead guilty to the charge of breach in conduct, has offered to write a letter of apology to Walsh.

Walsh axed

Match official Steve Walsh has been removed from the Brumbies/Reds clash in Canberra on Saturday.

This follows the Brumbies’ request to review Walsh’s performance in their 19-12 defeat to the Waratahs last weekend, where the Kiwi ref disallowed a legitimate try and made some controversial calls.

Sanzar rugby boss Lyndon Bray said he removed Walsh for rugby reasons and not because of the abusive comments made by the Brumbies’ players and management. Chris Pollock will be the replacement official, while Vinny Munro will take charge in the Hurricanes/Chiefs match.

Pocock extends Perth stay

David Pocock will spend another two seasons at the Western Force after signing a contract extension.

The 15-Test Wallabies flank, who was a major target for the Melbourne Rebels, committed himself until the end of the 2012 Super 14 season.

‘I decided a while ago but there was just the contract stuff that had to be sorted out first,’ Pocock said. ‘I’m really excited about it. To keep playing with Matt Hodgson and Richard Brown was a big plus for me so I’m looking forward to it.’

Deans backs Reds for S14 triumph

Robbie Deans believes the Reds are favourites to win the Super 14 this season.

While the Bulls, Stormers and Crusaders lead the pack at the top of the log so far, Wallabies head coach Deans backed the fourth-placed Reds to be the surprise winners.

‘They’re a side who clearly have the capability to win it,’ Deans told smh.com.au. ‘The reason for that is they have been striving to play a brand that is capable of winning the competition, as opposed to just simply qualifying [for the finals]. You can’t just pluck these things out of thin air. It comes through preparation.’

Deans added that in-form pivot Quade Cooper is not sure of a starting place.

‘The Reds have modified the way they have approached the game through a little bit of lateral thinking. They’ve moved Quade around on the defensive line, so that’s still an issue for them. But the things he enjoys doing, he is doing extremely well.’

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