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Brumbies hooker Stephen Moore escapes sanction for punch

Date

Jim Morton

Brumbies hooker Stephen Moore has escaped penalty for a punch on Queensland's Eddie Quirk.

Brumbies hooker Stephen Moore has escaped penalty for a punch on Queensland's Eddie Quirk. Photo: Getty Images

Brumbies hooker Stephen Moore has escaped sanction for his Suncorp Stadium upper-cut that had the Queensland Reds fuming after their latest Super Rugby defeat.

SANZAR's citing commissioner elected against taking action against Moore who clocked Reds flanker Ed Quirk in a pivotal flashpoint in the 23-20 result on Friday night.

The Wallabies rake and referee Steve Walsh were both jeered off the field by an incensed 30,000-strong Brisbane crowd who believed Moore should have been sent off in the 49th minute.

Walsh ruled that Quirk first held Moore at the ruck, prompting him to lash out, and that illegality denied what was "a clear try" to Will Genia.

Angry Queensland coach Richard Graham believed Walsh got it wrong, and felt the matter deserved a post-match action but opted against a team citing after the commissioner's own match review.

While Melbourne Rebels flanker Scott Fuglistaller was sin-binned this season for punching the arm of a Cheetahs rival holding him at a scrum, Moore was lucky to remain on the field for a far heavier blow.

But Quirk, more upset he cost his team a try, was happy to see Moore escape post-match punishment.

"There was nothing really in it," he said. "We had a chat afterwards, shook hands and had a laugh.

"In footy, I've never been one to hold grudges.

"I think you should leave those things on the field.

"I just feel bad because I thought Willy scored."

Brumbies director of coaching Laurie Fisher was adamant justice was done as holding defenders should be outlawed. "The sooner they get rid of that the better,"Fisher said.

"The bottom line is you cannot hold a player."

The result puts the Brumbies (25) well placed on top of Australian conference going into their mid-way bye - nine points clear of the Reds.

The break can't come soon enough for Graham's men, who looked tired and lethargic as they slumped to 20-3 down in the first half.

Not helped by a lack of front-foot ball, Queensland's attack was also disorganised and error-prone.

The shining light was the second-half turnaround - highlighted by a pushover tight-head try - by their under-rated pack which entered the derby with a point to prove.

"We went out there with a bit of a chip on shoulder," said skipper James Horwill. "We dont seem to get any credit, ever, from anyone.

"You guys talk that the Brumbies are the best scrum in the competition.

"I don't think Ive been part of any game where a tight-head pushover try was awarded.

"Its nice but but it never takes away from (losing)."

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