Reds drop Cooper appeal

The Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) has ruled out appealing Quade Cooper’s ban in order to avoid further disruption to the Reds ahead of Saturday night’s sudden death Super Rugby final against the Sharks.

However, the QRU said they would write a “please explain” to SANZAR over the late arrival of key documents after time worked against it as it attempted to lodge an appeal.

Despite Cooper tweeting otherwise on Wednesday night, the QRU explored an appeal on Thursday by requesting a transcript of the marathon judicial hearing that it hoped would provide a clue to a successful challenge.

But after only receiving the transcript at midday, the QRU officially pulled the pin an hour before the 8pm AEST deadline on Thursday to lodge an appeal claiming it had insufficient time.

The QRU had earlier this week complained about the late arrival of the written judgement.

QRU chairman Jim Carmichael said after reading both the transcript and written judgement it still firmly believed it had a case to lodge an appeal but conceded time had simply run out.

“We initially anticipated we would gain a better understanding of the decision by the Judicial Officer though obtaining the full SANZAR transcripts,” he said in a statement.

“However, they failed to reveal any further detail or clarification on why the judgement was made and the delay in receiving these documents has made it near impossible to mount an appeal.”

Carmichael said he would formally write to SANZAR “to outline their concerns and seek clarification around a range of points”.

“It has also been agreed that this will also form part of the review process that the Super Rugby franchises, the ARU and SANZAR undertake on an annual basis”, the QRU statement said.

Cooper was rubbed out for one match for a dangerous tackle on NSW centre Berrick Barnes after a marathon judicial hearing on Monday night.

“After fully considering the SANZAR transcript received at midday today, QRU still firmly believes that the tackle in question did not reach the red card threshold at which Cooper was initially cited and therefore did not warrant any further action than the yellow card which was awarded by referee Steve Walsh at the time,” the QRU statement said.

“Also, evidence presented to the video conference over a four-and-a-half hour period, failed to validate the citing commissioners claim that Coopers tackle initially made contact with Barnes head, in QRUs opinion.”

If the Reds defeat the Sharks on Saturday night, Cooper will be free to play against the Chiefs in Hamilton next weekend.

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