17 Jul 2012

Reds ponder Cooper appeal

7:54 am on 17 July 2012

The defending Super Rugby champions Queensland will be weighing up the pros and cons of an appeal on behalf of their star playmaker Quade Cooper who stands to miss Saturday night's qualifying final against the Sharks having been suspended for one match.

The Wallabies first five had pleaded not guilty to a dangerous tackle on the New South Wales second five Berrick Barnes last weekend, but after a four-and-a-half hour hearing Monday night he was found guilty.

After the decision Cooper hinted the Reds were wary of an unsuccessful appeal leading to a longer suspension, which looms as a major setback to their title defence.

There's bad news for the Sharks as well. They'll be without their rising Springboks backline star Patrick Lambie who has an ankle injury.

The winners will play the Chiefs in next week's semi-final in Hamilton.

The South African referee Jonathan Kaplan will control the Reds-Sharks play-off while his compatriot Jaco Peyper will be in charge of the Crusaders-Bulls qualifying final in Christchurch.