Super Rugby
Ioane suspended for four games
ESPNscrum Staff
March 20, 2012
The Reds' Digby Ioane looks hungry for action in training, Reds training session, Ballymore Stadium, Queesland, Australia, July 7, 2011
Digby Ioane was found guilty of a dangerous tackle on Marcell Coetzee © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Luke Braid | Digby Ioane | Keven Mealamu
Tournaments/Tours: Super Rugby

Reds winger Digby Ioane will miss four Super Rugby matches after being banned for five weeks for a dangerous tackle on Marcell Coetzee.

The 26-year-old admitted lifting the Sharks back-rower and failing to return him safely to the ground during the Reds' 27-22 defeat in Durban on Saturday. SANZAR judicial officer Mike Heron confirmed that previous dangerous tackles in 2008 had counted against the Wallabies winger.

Ioane will miss the Reds' matches against the Bulls, Western Force, Brumbies and Stormers but will be available again for the trip to Auckland to face the Blues in April.

Meanwhile Blues flanker Luke Braid has been suspended for three weeks after pleading guilty to hitting a Stormers player during his team's 27-17 defeat at Newlands. He will be free to return for the Blues on April 6.

SANZAR judicial officer Heron said: "The impact on the Stormers player was mild despite the vulnerable position and there was no impact on the game. The player accepted the guilt immediately and expressed his sincere remorse.

"His explanation [of frustration and trying to get the opposition player to stop impeding the ball] does have some support from the footage."

The Blues could also be without hooker Keven Mealamu for their upcoming clash with the Hurricanes as he struggles to overcome a calf strain. However All Blacks prop Tony Woodcock could return this weekend.

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