Rhodes banned, Piutau avoids sanction - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rhodes banned, Piutau avoids sanction

31/05/2011 01:17:28 PM Comments (0)

Lions flanker Michael Rhodes has been hit with a six-week ban for his wrestling-like tackle on Highlanders winger Siale Piutau during Friday's Super Rugby match in Dunedin.

Piutau escaped a ban despite punching Rhodes twice in retaliation.

Both players appeared before a Sanzar judicial hearing in Wellington on Monday and judicial officer Nick Davidson QC issued his findings on Tuesday after reserving his judgement.

He found Rhodes guilty of a dangerous tackle, ruling he had flipped Piutau over in a dangerous manner "placing his head and neck at serious risk of injury".

Davidson added that video evidence showed Piutau in a highly compromised and dangerous position.

Rhodes' six-match ban rules him out of all rugby until July 31.

Davidson cited "exceptional circumstances" over his decision not to punish Piutau for punching despite the winger admitting foul play.

He said Piutau's reaction was that of someone who had been "seriously endangered".

He added that to impose a sanction in these circumstances "would not reflect the effect on Piutau of the incident and a reaction that was the product of shock rather than retaliatory intent".

The citings related to an incident in the 59th minute of the match, won 26-22 by the Lions.

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