Wellington - Highlanders captain and All Blacks scrumhalf Jimmy Cowan avoided further penalty when he appeared before a Super 14 rugby judiciary on Monday on a dangerous tackle charge.
Cowan was sent off in the 60th minute of Friday's match between the Highlanders and Blues for a dangerous tackle on Blues flyhalf Jimmy Gopperth. The Blues beat the Highlanders 26-6.
SANZAR judicial officer Bruce Squire ruled that the red card received by Cowan as a result of the incident was sufficient penalty.
Squire said that after viewing video footage of the incident it was apparent the tackle was not late despite the referee's view of it. In addition, the point of contact was at Gopperth's chest level and the only culpable feature was Cowan's failure to use his arms to make the tackle.
Squire said the tackle was no more serious than others of its kind which resulted in a penalty or yellow card.