Rugby: Stormers conduct hearing postponed

A new SANZAR judicial hearing into misconduct complaints against Stormers' team management is needed after last night's initial proceedings were abandoned due to concerns of a fair hearing.

The hearing in Sydney was adjourned at the request of Stormers management.

A statement from SANZAR read:

"Judicial Officer Mr Adam Casselden could not proceed due to concerns that a fair hearing was no longer possible because of the disclosure of certain information to him.

"Mr Casselden has referred the Misconduct complaints to a new SANZAR Judicial Officer in the belief that a new hearing is necessary in the interests of fairness to all parties."

SANZAR will appoint a new Judicial Officer and set a date and time for the new hearing in due course.

It is alleged that New Zealand assistant referee Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri suffered persistent verbal abuse by either a player or member of the Stormers' sideline staff in the 18-16 victory by the Cape Town-based team at Palmerston North's FMG Stadium on April 26.

3News reported on Wednesday that Eden-Whaitiri had accused the Stormers of calling him a cheat and subjected him to constant abuse including suggestions he should "go back to club rugby".

The Palmerston North match was an often stormy affair in which the Stormers came from behind to win, with wing Bryan Habana's charge down of an attempted conversion by Beauden Barrett just before halftime proving crucial.

Hurricanes lock Jeremy Thrush was sent to the sinbin for a professional foul by referee Steve Walsh and prop Ben Franks was probably lucky not to join him following a series of penalties.

During the match the Stormers' coaching staff were extremely vocal in their box.

- APNZ

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