Byrnes and Rebels to appeal, but 10 weeks looms likely

By Jim Morton,

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    The Melbourne Rebels are considering their options after fiery lock Adam Byrnes was rubbed out of Super Rugby for 10 weeks following an eye-gouging complaint by the NSW Waratahs.

    In a dramatic aftermath to what was a spiteful local derby at AAMI Park, Byrnes was suspended until round 13 of the competition following a four-and-a-half-hour judicial hearing on Sunday afternoon.

    The Russian World Cup forward was cited after Waratahs skipper Daniel Halangahu made an on-field report that Byrnes had gouged centre Tom Carter in a 27th-minute ruck during Friday night’s 35-19 loss.

    While it’s understood the Rebels argued there was no intent by the second-rower, judicial officer Paul Tully ruled that Carter had received a minor scratch from contact.

    Tully reviewed extensive video evidence and considered written submissions by Carter and Waratahs doctor Luke Inman.

    “There was sufficient evidence to support that contact had been made with the right eye and bridge of the nose,” he ruled.

    Byrnes was left disappointed by the ruling and Rebels officials immediately started assessing their options to appeal on Sunday night.

    The entry point of such an offence is 12 weeks but two weeks credit was given to Byrnes for his otherwise unblemished record – meaning he will be sidelined until the Rebels meet the Western Force on May 20.

    It immediately leaves the Rebels’ big-man stocks light on in depth for Saturday night’s clash with defending champions Queensland, who boast Wallabies locks James Horwill and Rob Simmons and two other lineout options in Radike Samo and Jake Schatz.

    The second-placed Reds are coming off a 35-20 victory over the Western Force at Suncorp Stadium to be the only Australian team to have won their first two matches.

    But coach Ewen McKenzie said he’ll be addressing his defence after David Pocock and James Stannard strolled through for two soft tries within five minutes to come back from 26-6 down.

    Force coach Richard Graham continued to lament a host of early-season breakdown penalties which has led to conservative tactics.

    “There’s certainly some confusion in that area of the game and a lack of consistency,” he said.

    “You have to play at the right end of the field at the moment until you get an appreciation for it.”

    The Reds are one of four teams to have won both their opening matches, with the Pretoria-based Bulls (9) heading the table thanks to their 51-19 demolition of the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

    The Bulls became the only team to notch a four-try bonus point this season with the performance, and still managed to cross two more times after Francois Hougaard was sent off for a dangerous tackle in the 63rd minute.

    The Stormers sit third after a late penalty goal from the sideline by Peter Grant sunk the Sharks 15-12 in the other South African derby in Cape Town.

    The shocks have been contained to the New Zealand conference where the Highlanders (8) are again early-season surprise-packets after upsetting the Crusaders 27-24 in a high-quality affair in Dunedin.

    The Chiefs also pulled off a 29-14 boilover against the Blues in Hamilton on Friday night, while the Hurricanes overcame the Johannesburg-based Lions 30-28 in a thriller where the lead changed eight times.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (19)

    • March 5th 2012 @ 8:31am
      Justin said | March 5th 2012 @ 8:31am | ! Report

      If this is the only video evidence then this will get quashed on appeal. There is nothing in this at all:

    • Roar Rookie

      March 5th 2012 @ 8:58am
      Howi said | March 5th 2012 @ 8:58am | ! Report

      Carter is such a niggling player himself. It was hard not be sickened by his cries of foul play to the ref and anyone else who would listen. Good player and scored a couple of nice tries, but needs to grow up.

      • March 5th 2012 @ 9:58am
        jameswm said | March 5th 2012 @ 9:58am | ! Report

        Sure, but that doesn’t justify eye-gouging him.

        • March 5th 2012 @ 10:23am
          Justin said | March 5th 2012 @ 10:23am | ! Report

          And you think from that footage that he eye gouged him? Its a hell of a stretch IMO…

          • March 5th 2012 @ 12:34pm
            nickoldschool said | March 5th 2012 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

            Am with you Justin, there is nothing in this footage. a bitch slap at best. toughen up Carter!

    • March 5th 2012 @ 9:18am
      Sailosi said | March 5th 2012 @ 9:18am | ! Report

      If he’s been found guilty of eye gouging then he should have got 30 weeks at least. David Attoub got 82 weeks a couple of years ago.

      I can’t see much in this.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download The Roar’s iPhone App in the App Store here.

    • March 5th 2012 @ 11:54am
      levelheaded said | March 5th 2012 @ 11:54am | ! Report

      He eye-gouged and he got penalised. Perhaps Adam should grow up and he threw a couple as well on Friday night! I was at the game and you could hear him carrying on! It was only a matter of time before he made a stupid decision as he was going the man all night.

    • March 5th 2012 @ 12:19pm
      drop kick said | March 5th 2012 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

      “The Bulls became the only team to notch a four-try bonus point ”

      The Tahs got a four-try bonus point too.

    • March 5th 2012 @ 12:33pm
      Geemacaitch said | March 5th 2012 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

      I apologise for the trite comment; but, Byrnes is THE dirtiest player in Australian Rugby. Whether it is to make up for his low skill level or not, I don’t know. But, it would not the worst thing for him to be run out of the game.

      • March 5th 2012 @ 12:43pm
        Justin said | March 5th 2012 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

        Byrnes may well like the niggly rubbish but he has a clean record and there is no evidence on the tape that he gouged Carter whatsoever.

        And you want to end a blokes career on that? Bakkies Botha should have been stoned to death in your court of judgement…

        • March 5th 2012 @ 1:17pm
          Amateur Hour said | March 5th 2012 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

          I immediately suspected Pretorius.

          • March 5th 2012 @ 2:42pm
            SimonB said | March 5th 2012 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

            What is it with these foreign rugby players. First the South Africans and French, now the Russians.

          • Roar Rookie

            March 5th 2012 @ 4:14pm
            Comrade Bear said | March 5th 2012 @ 4:14pm | ! Report

            lol – his own teammate

        • Roar Guru

          March 5th 2012 @ 2:54pm
          stillmissit said | March 5th 2012 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

          Shalk would be back on the farm as well.

        • March 5th 2012 @ 5:34pm
          Geemacaitch said | March 5th 2012 @ 5:34pm | ! Report

          I have watched many games that he has played for Australian franchises and for Eastern Suburbs in Sydney. He is always involved in this kind of thing, and often behind play.

          It is one of the reasons I say get rid of him. However, it is mainly because he is not good enough (which is why he probably likes the niggle). He proves the lack of depth in Australian Rugby to field 5 teams.

          Bakkies should have been stoned to death.

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