Sir Graham Henry has pleaded guilty to a misconduct charge levelled by SANZAR after he criticised the performance of match officials during the Blues Super Rugby loss to the Crusaders in Christchurch.
Henry, who is on the Blues coaching staff as an assistant for Sir John Kirwan, escaped with a reprimand and agreed to issue a public apology following a teleconference with SANZAR's duty judicial officer Jannie Lubbe tonight.
In the aftermath of the Blues 23-3 loss on May 18 Henry accused the television match official Keith Brown as being "blind" after a try to Frank Halai was disallowed while Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett "got away with murder" at scrum time.
The competition's governing body laid the charge against the World Cup-winning coach after reviewing his comments and deciding they amounted to misconduct under rule 10 of the SANZAR disciplinary protocols and breached the SANZAR code of conduct.
Henry was scathing when addressing media at the Blues headquarters on Tuesday, arguing they should have been awarded a penalty try and that Halai definitely scored the five-pointer ruled out by New Zealand TMO Brown during the second half at AMI Stadium.
He labelled the no-try decision as "ludicrous" adding: "It was obvious to me. I don't know, he's probably a blind TMO is he?''
Henry also said the decision by referee New Zealand referee Glen Jackson to sinbin lock Calum Retallick for an intentional knock down was unfair -- the Crusaders, meanwhile, were seeking a penalty try which did not eventuate.
South African Lubbe said Henry had written to SANZAR and conceded that his remarks and comments were inappropriate and he apologised stating it was never his intention to offend the officials involved.
Taking into account Henry's "exemplary record as a rugby coach stretching over 40 years" Lubbe said the sanctions would amount to a reprimand and a requirement for Henry to issue a public apology to SANZAR plus Jackson and Brown.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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