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Guilty Henry to apologise to SANZAR Match Officials

Sir Graham Henry will issue a public apology to SANZAR's match officials

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Article Published: Sunday 26 May 2013

Former All Blacks coach Graham Henry escaped serious punishment for criticising Super Rugby officials after pleading guilty to a misconduct charge.

Henry, who is now an Blues assistant coach in Auckland was let off with a reprimand and an agreement to issue a public apology.

Jannie Lubbe, the judicial officer with the Super Rugby governing body SANZAR, said he took into account Henry's "exemplary record" as a coach for more than 40 years.

Henry was slapped with a misconduct charge after blasting officials following the Blues loss to the Crusaders on May 18.

He was particularly critical of television match official (TMO) Keith Brown after a Blues try was disallowed.

"It was obvious to me. He is probably a blind TMO, is he?"

Henry's comments breached Sections 8.3 (a) and (e) of the SANZAR Code of Conduct.

Henry also claimed Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett "got away with murder" at scrum time and accused officials of failing to police the offside line.

Lubbe said Henry had since written to SANZAR and conceded "his remarks and comments were inappropriate".

In releasing his finding, Mr Lubbe ruled the following, "Immediately after he was advised of the investigation by SANZAR into the alleged breach of the Code of Conduct, Sir Graham wrote to SANZAR and conceded that his remarks and comments were inappropriate and he apologised stating that it was never his intention to offend the officials involved."

It is important that all involved in the Super Rugby competition should respect, comply and abide by the SANZAR Code of Conduct.

In considering an appropriate sanction in matters like this, the interests of SANZAR must be taken into account.

After careful consideration of the remarks/comments, the immediate reaction and apology, that Sir Graham has never before found himself in a situation like this and his exemplary record as a rugby coach stretching over 40 years, the DJO decided to impose the following sanction which was accepted by Sir Graham:

1) Sir Graham Henry is reprimanded for breach of the SANZAR Code of Conduct and cautioned to refrain from such action in future;

2) He must issue a public apology to SANZAR and the match officials involved.

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