Peyper, Cheika warned for halftime chat


New Zealand media had reported earlier on Thursday the Blues had filed a complaint with SANZAR about Cheika visiting the match officials' changing rooms at the break.

Coaches are prohibited from having any discussions with match officials during the course of a game.

Sanzar said after conducting an investigation they had accepted there had been an exchange between Cheika, who is also the Wallabies coach, and Peyper, though they were satisfied it was just to clarify an interpretation of refereeing the scrums.

“In a short and polite exchange that took place in the referee's change room, Mr. Peyper responded to Mr. Cheika's request for clarification. No other issues were discussed,” Sanzar said in a statement.

“Both Mr. Cheika and Mr. Peyper have subsequently acknowledged this exchange should not have taken place and apologised.”

The New Zealand Herald newspaper reported there had been suggestions from the Blues they had noticed a “massive difference in interpretation and application of the laws they encountered in the second half”, though Sanzar said Cheika's discussion did not affect the match.

“There is no evidence that the referee was influenced by the exchange in his handling of the match, nor in the circumstances has there been a breach of the Sanzar Code of Conduct and no further action will be taken,” the statement added.

“Sanzar has issued formal warnings to both Mr. Cheika and Mr. Peyper and has written to all referees and coaches, reminding them that no discussions should take place between the match officials and coaches during a match.”

It is not the first time that Cheika, who steps down from the Waratahs at the conclusion of the tournament to focus solely on the Wallabies, has fallen foul of rugby officialdom.

Last year he was given a suspended six-month ban and fined for abusing a cameraman in South Africa. The ban, suspended until Aug. 31 2015, would be activated if he breached the code of conduct again.

Cheika, who was also warned by Sanzar in 2013 and smashed a glass door in a coaches box in Canberra the following year in a fit of pique, was also fined after abusing match officials during and after Stade Francais' loss to Harlequins in the 2011 final of a European competition. – Reuters

Original source: Peyper, Cheika warned for halftime chat