Chiefs prop Ben Taimefuna has been handed a one-week ban for his dangerous tackle on Ryan Kankowski, but will only miss a club game as a result.
The young tighthead was cited for his tackle on the Sharks No.8 during the Super Rugby Final in Hamilton last week, and has been suspended from all forms of the game up to and including August 18.
The Chiefs players who did not make the All Blacks squad have all been given a two-week break before joining their NPC teams, so in effect the ban will only prevent him from playing in the final of the Hawke's Bay club competition this weekend as he has been dropped from the All Blacks squad to make way for Charlie Faumuina.
Tameifuna pleaded guilty to making initial contact above the line of the shoulder, with his left arm making contact with the head region.
SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Nicholas Davidson QC assessed the case and took into account the guilty plea as well as the fact that Kankowski was not injured and continued to play after the incident.
Davidson concluded that contact was anticipated from an orthodox crouched position, the first point of contact was to the right arm of the Sharks No.8 but Tameifuna rose in the tackle and his arm then made contact with the chin/neck region of the ball carrier.
It was not thus direct contact to the head, but the way the tackle was executed carried risk of such contact. There was no injury, and no effect on the game.
In the circumstances, the lower end entry point of two weeks sanction was considered and allowance for a plea of guilty to one week's suspension, accepted by the player.
Because the competition concluded with this game between the Chiefs and the Sharks, the rules require consideration of the playing schedule.
Davidson was advised that Tameifuna would not play in the final of the Hawkes Bay Club Competition this weekend, and thus the one week's suspension imposed is to encompass all rugby up to and including Saturday August 18, including a scheduled NPC warm-up match.
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