Allegations of homophobic slurs have overshadowed the NSW Waratahs' commanding Super Rugby triumph over the ACT Brumbies in Sydney last night.
NSW's 28-13 victory reignited their title defence and helped the unbeaten Hurricanes retain their place at the top of the overall standings.
However the Brumbies captain David Pocock's sensational allegation to referee Craig Joubert late in the fiery derby marred the Waratahs' celebrations.
A vocal advocate of same-sex marriages, Pocock approached Joubert twice in the final 15 minutes, upset at what the Wallabies flanker deemed to be "pretty aggressive comments" from the Waratahs.
Joubert said he did not hear the remarks - allegedly made at scrum time - but asked NSW captain Michael Hooper to have a word to his forwards.
"I'm getting some pretty aggressive comments coming from your guys - that there are homophobic slurs [being made]," Joubert said.
Hooper replied: "We're not into that".
But that did little to satisfy Pocock who said, "You heard that sir ... you can't say that, there could be gay players out there."
Pocock continued: "That's fine, but after that their captain said: that's rugby. That's not right."
Pocock remained livid and Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham later said the ACT franchise would investigate the matter.
"Obviously it's going to come out in the next couple of days," Larkham said.
"We haven't had a chance to chat to everyone about everything that happened out there but we will investigate it further."
Larkham suspected the allegation was made against one player.
"But I didn't hear it and I wasn't on the field ... and I certainly didn't hear it," Larkham said.
"It was reported as that. We'll have to talk to individuals and see what the process is."
The Waratahs coach Michael Cheika said he didn't want to comment until he had all the facts in front of him.