Wal­la­bies rule out an ap­peal

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - GRAND FINAL - JU­LIAN LIN­DEN

THE Wal­la­bies have ruled out lodg­ing an ap­peal against Reece Hodge’s far­ci­cal three­match World Cup sus­pen­sion, fear­ing he could end up get­ting a longer ban if things went badly at the hear­ing, even though they main­tain he was harshly judged.

The manda­tory penalty for the type of high tackle Hodge was found guilty of mak­ing on Fiji’s Pe­celi Yato is six weeks but the Aus­tralian winger got a re­duced penalty be­cause it was deemed un­in­ten­tional and he had a clean record.

That rules him out of Aus­tralia’s re­main­ing pool games but he will be back in time for the quar­ter­fi­nals, so,af­ter con­sid­er­ing their op­tions, the Wal­la­bies de­cided to cop it on the chin.

“What's the le­gal term?” a frus­trated Wal­laby coach Michael Cheika said.

“We de­lib­er­ated, yes, with our QC and sev­eral other le­gal minds around Aus­tralia and we've come to the con­clu­sion that we won't be ap­peal­ing.

“If they (the ju­di­ciary) can't see that tackle doesn't meet the red card thresh­old on first view, I worry a lit­tle bit about go­ing back there and get­ting more, just a bit of a show of force, I sup­pose.”

The Aus­tralians have made no se­cret of their an­noy­ance that Hodge was rubbed out while plenty of play­ers at the World Cup have got away with much worse, and it’s cre­ated a siege men­tal­ity.

Cheika is in­sist­ing the saga hasn’t dis­rupted the team’s prepa­ra­tions for the crunch match with Wales, though he does think it could pro­vide some added mo­ti­va­tion come game time.

“Feel­ing are feel­ings, you just feel like that. When you feel hard done by and one of your play­ers is so up­set be­cause he’s not play­ing, yeah, I sup­pose you feel like that.”

Coach Michael Cheika.

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