While a SANZAR statement Wednesday did not elaborate on the circumstances, New Zealand media reported that an assistant referee was verbally abused by members of the Stormers' management at the Palmerston North, New Zealand on April 26. The Stormers beat the Hurricanes 18-16.
John Knowles, chief executive of the Manawatu Rugby Union which hosted the match, told reporters "the matter was reported through the referees group."
SANZAR, the Southern hemisphere rugby body, said the Stormers team accepted it breached the code of conduct and "has unreservedly apologized to the match officials, and Mr. Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri in particular."
Australian-based SANZAR disciplinary judiciary member Terry Willis fined the Stormers $15,000 for insulting and offensive conduct and $10,000 for bringing the game into disrepute. They were also ordered to pay SANZAR's costs associated with the hearing.