Taione banned for six weeks
April 8, 2008
Sharks player Epi Taione has been suspended for six weeks for a head butt on a Hurricanes player in a Super 14 rugby match on Saturday.
In another Sanzar judiciary decision announced today, Lions player Ross Geldenhuys was cleared of a charge of striking a Highlanders player with his knee on Friday.
Both players appeared before Sanzar judicial officer Nicholas Davidson QC in separate hearings in Christchurch yesterday.
Taione had been shown the red card by match referee Paul Marks for intentionally using his head to strike Hurricanes player Jeremy Thrush during a maul.
Taione, represented by counsel Richard McIlraith and Sharks coach Dick Muir, told the hearing he was clearing out Thrush who was impeding the rolling maul.
It was submitted his action was legitimate but too high in its execution.
Taione said he had no intention of striking Thrush on, and with, the head. As such, it was more properly categorised as a reckless act.
Davidson decided Taione's action was "grossly reckless" and suspended the player until May 19.
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton