Sharks' Taione banned for six weeks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sharks' Taione banned for six weeks

08/04/2008 10:22:05 AM Comments (0)

Sharks player Epi Taione has been suspended for the rest of the regular Super 14 season for head-butting during Saturday's win over the Hurricanes in Wellington.

Sanzar judicial officer Nicholas Davidson QC banned the Tongan international for six weeks, deeming his action "grossly reckless", following a hearing in Christchurch.

Taione had been shown the red card by Australian match referee Paul Marks for using his head to strike Hurricanes player Jeremy Thrush during a maul.

He is banned until May 19, meaning he could return in the semi-finals if the unbeaten Sharks maintain their form.

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.

In another Sanzar judiciary decision announced on Tuesday, Lions player Ross Geldenhuys was cleared of a charge of striking a Highlanders player with his knee on Friday.

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