Former All Black halfback Alby Mathewson faces suspension for stamping on returning Chiefs flanker Sam Cane in the opening minutes of the Western Force's stirring 18-15 upset of the back-to-back Super Rugby champions in Perth last night.
Mathewson was penalised by South African referee Lourens van der Merwe, after he tried to clear Cane from a breakdown in the third minute of a tense clash at nib Stadium.
The referee initially penalised Cane but reversed the decision after a frustrated Mathewson repeatedly raked Cane's back.
A statement from the tournament's governing body SANZAR today said Mathewson should have been red carded for the offence.
Mathewson is alleged to have contravened Law 10.4 (b) - stamping or trampling - when he made contact with the All Blacks' openside back-up for Richie McCaw.
"Upon further review of the match footage the citing commissioner deemed in his opinion the incident had met the red card threshold for foul play," the statement said.
SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Adam Casselden will head a hearing into the incident; the Western Force were considering their response.
Cane was able to play on, seemingly undeterred by the treatment, while Mathewson was also prominent in the Force's third straight win until he was substituted in the second half.
The Force have a bye this week and resume their schedule against the Reds in Brisbane on April 5.
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