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.
Huw Richards rewinds to 1864 to mark the birth of Welsh rugby's first authentic star - Arthur Gould
Michael Cheika has succeeded in becoming the Wallabies coach under his own terms, writes Greg Growden
In the blink of an eye, a winger can go from a hero to villain. Hugh Godwin talks to Zac Guildford and David Strettle about life on the flank
Munster, No.8s, the imploding Australians, wonderful Glasgow and Lancaster's dilemma - it is Monday Maul time