League: Bitter Aussies remind Lowe of under-arm

Former New Zealand coach Graham Lowe says Ricky Stuart's response to the Kiwis' shock World Cup win has tarnished Australian sport as much as Trevor Chappell's under-arm delivery did 27 years ago.

Former barrister Rob Webber was appointed on Tuesday by international league chairman Colin Love to carry out an independent investigation into a complaint about Stuart's behaviour towards referee Ashley Klein.

The Kangaroos coach allegedly abused Klein at the Australian team's hotel the morning after the final.

Webber will interview all parties and his findings will be reviewed under the World Cup organising committee's code of conduct.

Lowe said New Zealanders were deeply offended by reports an emotion-charged Stuart had implied the Kiwis 34-20 upset had been the result competition organisers wanted.

"It's tarnished the image of Australian sport to the same degree as cricket's under arm incident," Lowe told AAP from New Zealand.

"If the coach of the All Blacks said what Stuart reportedly said about a game involving New Zealand, he wouldn't have the job the next week."

However Stuart's former Canberra, NSW and Australian teammate Laurie Daley came to his defence saying the former champion Canberra halfback "loved rugby league".

"Ricky's a very passionate guy who loves coaching Australia," said Daley who shared in premiership, Origin and Test wins with Stuart.

"He loves his players and protects his players.

"He wouldn't do anything to harm the Australian jumper or the game."

Cricket's under-arm incident at the MCG in October 1981 outraged New Zealanders and soured sporting relations between the two countries.

More than 27 years later it's still a sore point whenever Australians brag about their sporting successes against the Kiwis.

"This is up there or even worse than the under-arm bowling affair," said Lowe.

"For Ricky to carry on like a spoilsport is poor sportsmanship.

"This (World Cup win) means so much to the game in New Zealand you can't put it into words."

Lowe, who coached in the QRL and NRL and also in the UK as well as Queensland in State of Origin, said he'd been in Stuart's position and understood how he would have felt after losing the final.

"Anyone who's coached at that level has experienced that," he said.

"But in all honesty, how could any of those professional players possibly think they were stitched up?

"They (Australia) cracked under pressure. They gave away some inexcusable tries and they didn't play the whistle." "It's real cry baby stuff."

Stuart was angry over a number of refereeing decisions made by Klein and English video referee Steve Ganson, including a crucial penalty try ruling in the second half.

World Cup referees' boss Mick Stone said on Tuesday he was still to go over the game tape.

 

 

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