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Super Rugby: Waratahs beat Brumbies in controversial match

March 22, 2015

SYDNEY (AP) — New South Wales scored the only points of the second half to defeat Australian conference leaders the ACT Brumbies 28-13 in a Super Rugby match Sunday in which Wallabies and ACT flanker David Pocock said he was subjected to homophobic slurs.

A vocal advocate of same-sex marriages, Pocock approached referee Craig Joubert twice in the final 15 minutes, upset at what the referee deemed to be “pretty aggressive comments” from the Waratahs.

Joubert asked New South Wales vice-captain Michael Hooper, who had just replaced skipper Dave Dennis, to speak to the New South Wales players on the field.

But Pocock was not satisfied and Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham later said the Brumbies would investigate the matter.

“Obviously it’s going to come out in the next couple of days,” Larkham said. “We haven’t had a chance to chat to everyone about everything that happened out there but we will investigate it further.”

Larkham said he suspected the allegation was made against one player.

“But I didn’t hear it and I wasn’t on the field,” Larkham said. “It was reported as that. We’ll have to talk to individuals and see what the process is.”

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika, who also is head coach of the Wallabies, said he was reluctant to comment.

“The way I see it is like this: if there’s an issue, it will come to light,” Cheika said. “When it comes to light, I’ll make my position clear on it.”

Pocock did not comment following the match.

Fullback Israel Folau ended his four-game try-scoring drought and set up the other New South Wales tries for flyhalf Bernard Foley and hooker Tolu Latu. Foley also kicked two conversions and two penalties for a personal tally of 15 points.

A 48-meter penalty goal from Kurtley Beale in the 47th minute gave the Waratahs a 10-point buffer and Folau sealed the match when he put Latu over seven minutes from fulltime.

Weekend results left the New Zealand conference-leading Hurricanes, who beat the Highlanders 20-13 on Friday, in first place overall, two points ahead of the Brumbies.

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Weekend summaries:

New South Wales 28 (Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Tolu Latu tries; Foley 2 conversions, Foley 2, Kurtley Beale penalties), ACT 13 (Matt Toomua try; Christian Leali’ifano conversion, 2 penalties). HT: 20-13.

Crusaders 57 (Daniel Carter 2, Jordan Taufua 2, Israel Dagg, David Havili, Nemani Nadolo tries; penalty try; Carter 7 conversions, penalty), Cheetahs 14 (Johann Sadie, Francois Venter tries; Joe Pietersen 2 conversions). HT: 10-14.

Bulls 25 (Marcel van der Merwe try; Handre Pollard conversion, 6 penalties), Western Force 24 (Adam Coleman, Sam Wykes, Kyle Godwin tries; Sias Ebersohn 2 conversions, penalty, Luke Burton conversion). HT: 9-7.

Sharks 12 (Pat Lambie 4 penalties), Chiefs 11 (Sam Cane try; Aaron Cruden 2 penalties). HT: 9-11.

Hurricanes 20 (Reg Goodes, T.J. Perenara tries; Beauden Barrett 2 conversions, 2 penalties), Highlanders 13 (Lima Sopoaga try, conversion, 2 penalties). HT: 3-3.

Lions 20 (Marnitz Boshoff, Lionel Mapoe tries; Elton Jantjies 2 conversions, 2 penalties,) Melbourne 16 (Mitch Inman, Jonah Placid tries; Mike Harris 2 penalties). HT 3-13.

Byes: Blues, Queensland, Stormers.

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