Super Rugby - Highlanders
Ma'a Nonu suspended for three weeks
July 1, 2013
Ma'a Nonu paid the penalty for this ugly tackle © Getty Images
Highlanders centre Ma'a Nonu has been banned for three weeks for his tip tackle on Crusaders winger Tom Marshall at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Saturday.
Recent tip-tackle bans:
The New Zealand international received a red card for the offence, and subsequently received a three-week sanction - reduced from four due to his guilty plea - from Super Rugby's disciplinary panel.
Judicial officer Jannie Lubbe said of the decision: "The tackle was executed poorly and there was no intention to hurt the opponent. Nonu accepted that the tackle was poorly executed by lifting his opponent.
"The tackled player was not injured and the incident had no effect on the Crusaders team. A medical report obtained from the Crusaders confirmed that the player involved suffered no injury.
"Taking into account the record of the player over a period of more than a decade playing Super Rugby, which is not unblemished, his early plea of guilt and the remorse shown, I have determined to give the player a discount of one week and to suspend the player from all rugby for a period of three weeks."
Nonu has 79 caps at international level with the All Blacks, having made his Test debut in a 2003 defeat to England, and will now miss the Highlanders' remaining two games of the competition.
"It stuffed us really," Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph said of Nonu's sending off. "It obviously affected our team ... you need as much help as you can get against the Crusaders, not having to play them with 14 men."
The Highlanders scored the first try but the Crusaders were too good (video available only in Australia)