Rugby: Ioane fined for ref rant

Digby Ioane. Photo / Getty Images
Digby Ioane. Photo / Getty Images

Queensland Reds winger Digby Ioane has been fined $2000 and apologised unreservedly for criticising referee Keith Brown after last week's Super Rugby match against the Hurricanes.

Ioane, who missed the match with a hairline facial fracture, Tweeted "worst ref ever" after Brown awarded a late penalty to the Hurricanes, which Aaron Cruden kicked as they beat the Reds 28-26.

Following an independently-chaired hearing via teleconference, Super Rugby's governing body SANZAR fined the Wallabies winger $2000 and Ioane released a repentant media statement.

"I am sorry for any harm that I may have caused. I've learned my lesson," he said in the statement following a charge of contravening the SANZAR code of conduct.

"Referees have a tough job to do and they deserve respect.

"I also understand what Twitter is all about now, but when it all comes down to it, I'm proud to be a member of the Reds and I just got carried away.

It won't happen again."

Ioane and the Reds are now focused on the game against the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday night, the statement said.

Ioane has since banned himself from Twitter as a result of the matter.

Last year, Brumbies star Matt Giteau was fined $5000 for attacking referee Steve Walsh following a controversial loss to NSW, while in 2007 Eddie Jones was penalised $10,000 for a long rant against another official, Matt Goddard.

- AAP

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