CRICKET: Australian vice-captain David Warner says any alleged ball-tampering by South Africa captain Faf du Plessis in the second Test had a negligible impact on the game.

Australia was thumped by an innings and 80 runs in Hobart after two batting collapses.

Warner said du Plessis' alleged applications of sugary saliva from a lolly to the ball in the second innings probably did not affect the outcome.

"At the end of the day, we have been out-played, out-bowled, out-batted, out-fielded in this game," he said.

"Whether or not he was putting anything on the ball is irrelevant."

Warner steered clear of commenting directly on the ball-tampering allegation, but pointed out that Proteas' the unsavoury airport scuffle with a television journalist was not something he would like to see replicated by his own touring party.

"I won't comment on the way they've been behaving," Warner said.

"I just know from an Australian cricket perspective we hold our heads high and I'd be very disappointed if one of our team members did that, and how they're reacting.

"For us it's about controlling what we can do, and that's playing the best cricket we can and let them worry about what they're doing."

When a television journalist attempted to question du Plessis after he arrived on a flight from Melbourne, the reporter was buffeted by accompanying South African team security personnel.

The reporter was later accused by South Africa's team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee of "aggressively harassing our players" and proceeding to "lunge towards Faf with an unknown object (microphone) causing a direct breach of security protocol".

The incident came after the ICC's decision to charge du Plessis, who was shown on video to be rubbing saliva on the ball while sucking on a sweet, under the game's Code of Conduct.

This dictates it is an offence "to alter the condition of the ball" by means deemed to be "unfair", which include "applying an artificial substance to the ball".

Warner, who was fined 15% of his match fee during the previous Test series between the rival nations in South Africa in 2014 for airing unproved claims that the Proteas were deliberately altering the condition of the ball, wouldn't be drawn on whether sugar-laden saliva could impact on the way a cricket ball behaves.

"I don't know. I'm not sure," Warner said when asked about the science of sweets when polishing the ball.

"(But) the rules are in place for a reason, and if you're not going to use them then why bother having them?

"That's just the fortunate thing these days, they've got the rules and they're going to stand by their decisions.

"I think that's a good thing.

"We've all been on the back end of them from time to time and now that they're cracking down on it, especially with the points system (that players accumulate for breaching the Code of Conduct).

"We, as players, know the guidelines now so if you're going to overstep that mark and get fined be prepared to miss Test matches as well."

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