Highlanders wing cops 6-week ban for face kick
Wellington - Highlanders wing Tevita Nabura received a six-week suspension on Friday for his mid-air kung-fu kick to the face of Waratahs wing Cameron Clark.
The kick, which came in the 18th minute of last Saturday's game earned Nabura a red card, with his departure proving pivotal as the Waratahs went on to end Australian teams' 40-match losing streak against New Zealand opposition.
The South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina Rugby (SANZAAR) judiciary committee said Nabura pleaded guilty to physically abusing a player by kicking.
"The player's action was seen by the committee as a misguided effort by an inexperienced player to both try and regain balance whilst in the air and ward off the approaching opposing player," it said via a statement.
The committee said it initially considered a 12-week ban but halved it due to "the player's excellent record, his remorse, his inexperience and his guilty plea".
The ban means Nabura is out until Friday, July 6, although he will only miss four Super Rugby matches, against the Reds, Hurricanes, Chiefs and Crusaders.
He will be eligible to play for the Highlanders in the playoffs if they make the top eight.
Saturday's Reds v Highlanders clash in Brisbane is scheduled for 11:45 (SA time).
Hamish Stewart, 14 Izaia Perese, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11
Jordan Petaia, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Scott Higginbotham
(captain), 7 George Smith, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Harry Hockings, 4
Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 JP Smith.
16 Andrew Ready, 17 Sef Fa’agase, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Kane Douglas, 20
Caleb Timu, 21 Liam Wright, 22 Moses Sorovi, 23 Aidan Toua
Josh McKay, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Tei Walden, 11
Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Marino Mikaele Tu’u, 7
Dillon Hunt, 6 James Lentjes, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Tyrel
Lomax, 2 Ash Dixon (captain), 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Kalolo Tuiloma, 19 Josh
Dickson, 20 Liam Squire, 21 Aaron Smith, 22 Josh Ioane, 23 Richard