News in Brief
Nonu sorry for post-match outburst
Hurricanes centre Ma'a Nonu has apologised for his f-word littered post-match comments in the wake of his side's SUper 14 victory over the Chiefs
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- Hurricanes back Ma'a Nonu has apologised for an expletive-laden radio outburst soon after the Super 14 defeat of the Chiefs on Saturday night.
Nonu completed an extraordinary interview soon after the match, won 33-27 in Wellington, using the f-word seven times when answering two questions. The All Blacks centre was upbeat about his performance in the interview with NewstalkZB, having scored two tries, but today admitted he overstepped the mark.
"After a tough game there was a bit of emotion flying around," he told reporters at Hurricanes training. "I guess, being a professional sportsman you've got to be responsible for what you say. At the end of the day it hurts a lot of people."
Hurricanes coach Colin Cooper said team management had applied a sanction on the 27-year-old but wouldn't reveal specifics. Nonu's interview included the following opening response: "After they got a lead of I think it was 24-8 or something, f... we were on our tryline and f... everyone's just, what was hitting us. And 60 minutes later we come on top and we scored a f.....g last minute try to get a f.....g bonus point."
- Referee Steve Walsh will return to Super 14 action on Saturday when he controls the Chiefs' match against the Waratahs in Hamilton. The Australian-based New Zealand referee was stood down from his scheduled appointment for the Brumbies-Reds match last weekend after his performance the previous week was slammed by the Brumbies.
Walsh was replaced by compatriot Chris Pollock for the game, in which the Brumbies scored a comfortable victory in Canberra to stay in playoffs contention. Sanzar confirmed Walsh today for the Hamilton match after New Zealand referees' boss Lyndon Bray publicly supported him last week.
"We still clearly back Steve as a class referee. He's done a pretty admirable job here in getting back on the horse at this level. Yes, he's had a couple of games like I think every referee has where he hasn't been at his very best, and (last) Saturday was a good example of that, but we back him in this competition."
- The Reds have received a major boost heading into Friday's crunch Super 14 clash against the Hurricanes in Wellington, with the return of Van Humphries set to ease the franchise's second row injury crisis. Humphries has been out for the past two matches with an ankle injury but vowed today he was ready to line-up at lock and ease the Reds' woes with Rob Simmons (fractured cheekbone), Adam Byrnes (knee) and captain James Horwill (knee) all sidelined.
"It's coming along well, we've had a checklist to tick off over the last couple of days and I've passed everything so far," said Humphries. "Ewen (coach Ewen McKenzie) didn't want me back too early, but I'll be 100% come Friday."
Humphries will more than likely be packing down alongside Radike Samo, who appears destined to play his first Super rugby match in almost four years. Samo, a former Australia international who enjoyed a successful 35-game career with the Brumbies, was recently signed on a short-team deal by McKenzie as injury cover for Horwill.
- Western Force winger Scott Staniforth flew home to Perth from South Africa on Tuesday after being ruled out of the club's final two matches of the 2010 season. Staniforth suffered a neck injury in the 33-12 win against the Lions and following scans in Cape Town has returned home to allow the injury to settle and then start his rehab.
- Leicester Tigers' Development XV secured the Premier Rugby A League title with a thrilling 29-27 victory over Harlequins A at Welford Road on Monday night in front of more than 8,000 supporters.