The Reds may yet fight for the overturning of star playmaker Quade Cooper’s suspension for Saturday’s play-off against the Sharks.
Cooper will watch from the stands after what was deemed to be a dangerous high tackle on Berrick Barnes earned him a one-game ban. However, Queensland Rugby (QRU) said it is ‘seriously considering’ lodging an appeal.
QRU Chairman Rod McCall, CEO Jim Carmichael and their legal representatives are handling the matter, with the team and coaching staff instructed to focus on preparations.
McCall and Carmichael believe QRU presented a strong case the tackle did not warrant a suspension. ‘We are obviously particularly sensitive to not disrupting the Reds team dynamics and preparation in launching an appeal at this late stage, however by not receiving the formal judgement until 8pm Tuesday after the decision was handed down on Monday evening, time is getting away from us in what was already a short preparation,’ McCall said.
‘Under the current Sanzar protocols, if we were to launch an appeal we would lose at least a further day of preparation with Ewen [McKenzie] and Quade who would both be required to fly to Sydney for another hearing. However, we are cognisant of the need to support our player if we feel he has been treated harshly and in our opinion we still strongly believe the tackle did not warrant suspension.
‘After taking the advice of legal representatives, the QRU first intends to discuss the matter further with Sanzar before making a decision whether to launch an appeal within the allowed 48-hour period.’