NSW centre Rob Horne was suspended for two Super Rugby matches on Sunday for his lifting tackle on Melbourne fullback Kurtley Beale.
Horne was cited by SANZAR for his dangerous tackle in Saturday night’s 30-21 win, which sparked a series of tweets from Queensland counterparts Digby Ioane and Quade Cooper, who claimed their Wallabies teammate should be rubbed out for a lengthy period.
In discussions with the Waratahs on Sunday, the SANZAR judicial officer initially gave Horne a four-week suspension, but that was scaled back to two because of his good record and an early guilty plea.
Horne might consider him lucky, after Ioane was handed a five-week suspension for a dangerous tackle of his own back in round four against the Sharks – which many thought was excessive.
SANZAR chief executive Greg Peters said Ioane and Cooper won’t be sanctioned for tweeting their opinions on Saturday night on how long Horne should spend on the sidelines.
Peters said Super Rugby players needed to be cautious about what they post on social media but, in SANZAR’s view, Ioane and Cooper did not break the code of conduct.
The governing body’s CEO said the tweets from the Queenslanders were in “a game context” and “didn’t cross the line.”
Ioane was embroiled in a twitter controversy last year when he tweeted “worst ref ever” after the Reds lost a close match in Wellington.
On Saturday night, he wrote that Horne’s lifting tackle on Melbourne star Kurtley Beale was worth six-eight weeks, while Cooper chipped in that he thought the incident deserved 10 weeks.
Waratahs captain Benn Robinson said he thought the comments made by Ioane and Cooper, surprisingly about their Wallabies teammate Horne, could well have landed them in strife.
“I think contractually those boys might get in a bit of trouble there,” Robinson told Triple M’s The Ruck.
“It’s not disappointing. It’s just a bit of a shock to me that those boys would jump on there straight away and make those comments.”
NSW coach Michael Foley said as far as he was concerned, the twitter drama was “irrelevant” and the Waratahs were focused solely on the judiciary process which has now been completed.
The Waratahs say they need another 24 hours to determine the extent of fullback Bernard Foley’s shoulder injury.
Foley didn’t return for the second half on Saturday night after he came off second best in an attempted tackle on Rebels winger Lachlan Mitchell.
“We won’t find out until tomorrow. He’s had scans and we’re just waiting for the results and the specialist’s opinion.
“He’s seen our medical staff this morning but we need another 24 hours before we can be more certain how that’s pulling up.
“He felt better on (Sunday) morning which is positive.”
Michael Foley said if his namesake wasn’t fit to face the Crusaders this week, he would consider shifting playmaker Berrick Barnes back to No.15.