Peters denies any evidence of Cheika cheating

SANZAR CEO Greg Peters has backed his own organisation’s handling of Waratahs coach Michael Cheika’s half time chat with referee Jaco Peyper.

Cheika entered the referee’s room at half time during the Waratahs match against the Blues.

In the first half the penalty count favoured the Blues but in the second half it swung in favour of the Waratahs.

Super Rugby coaches are prohibited from talking to match officials during a match and SANZAR have reprimanded both Cheika and referee Jaco Peyper after conducting an internal investigation.

Cheika is already on a suspended six month ban from rugby after verbally abusing a South African cameraman and New Zealand media have slammed SANZAR for being lenient on Cheika suggesting that there could have been some “cheating”.

“Certainly the word cheating has not entered into any of our thinking at all and it is a pretty strong accusation,” Peters told Fairfax Media.

“If there was any evidence of cheating we would certainly have taken a different course of action, but we absolutely refute that there was any evidence available of that action or intent.

“We stand by the evidence provided by both Jaco Peyper and Michael Cheika about the nature, tone and timing of the exchange.”

SANZAR say that although the half time chat was against the rules they do not feel that it is a violation of their code of conduct which would have seen Cheika being banned for six months.

“In this instance our job was to only look at the incident we have in front of us, and to ascertain whether it amounted to misconduct,” Peters added.

“In this set of circumstances we don’t believe it was.”

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