Wallabies rule out an appeal
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.