Super Rugby

Kurtley Beale punched me, alleges Rebels teammate Cooper Vuna

‘Incident occurred’ after Rebels fell to a record 10-try loss to Sharks in South Africa

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 February, 2014, 2:07am

Wallabies star Kurtley Beale has been accused of punching his teammate Cooper Vuna following the Melbourne Rebels' record 64-7 Super 15 loss in South Africa on Saturday.

Hours after the Rebels' 10-try defeat by the Coastal Sharks in Durban, Vuna alleged in a tweet that Beale hit him.

"I need to leave right now, this ain't for me! I tried to help someone but got punched so instead of putting him in hospital il leave!" Vuna posted.

The tweet was deleted but later posted on a fan website with one Twitter user asking Vuna if his alleged assailant was drunk.

Vuna replied: "Hmmmmm his name is kurtley—beale bloody grub!"

Beale did not play in the Durban match as he continues his recovery from hand surgery, while the Sharks game was Vuna's first match this season after a shoulder injury.

Rebels' media manager Adam Freier issued a statement yesterday but indicated the club would not name the players involved until it had been dealt with. He said no outside parties were involved.

"The Melbourne Rebels would like to respond to reports of an incident between players following the team's bus trip home to their hotel in Umhlanga," the statement said. "The club is treating this matter as serious and a full internal investigation has begun with the players involved.

"Therefore, the club cannot provide any further comment until the internal investigation is completed."

Beale was granted bail last July to attend mediation after appearing in court charged with common assault.

He was allegedly involved in an altercation with a security guard after he and Wallabies teammate Quade Cooper were refused entry to a Brisbane pub before Australia's first test with Wales in June. Beale is expected to undertake his first session of mediation next month.

The 57-point winning margin of the Durban franchise easily bettered a 53-11 win over Western Force of Australia last season in the southern hemisphere provincial championship.

Victory came a week after Sharks sustained a 19-point hiding from table toppers ACT Brumbies of Australia at the same venue, which led New Zealand-born coach John Plumtree to make eight starting line-up changes.

After beginning the season with a victory over Force, this was the Rebels' fourth consecutive reverse and it does not get any easier this weekend for the tourists when they meet in-form Central Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

In Sydney, flyhalf Bernard Foley kicked a penalty goal after the siren to deliver the New South Wales Waratahs a thrilling 30-27 come-from-behind win over the Auckland Blues yesterday.

Foley's last-gasp kick sealed a dramatic second-half rally by the Waratahs after they trailed 24-10 at half-time. It was only the Waratahs' second win of the season, while the Blues fell to 2-2.