Ma’a Nonu hit with ban after red card for tackle

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All Blacks and Otago Highlanders centre Ma’a Nonu has been suspended for three weeks after he was sent off for a dangerous tackle during Saturday’s Super Rugby defeat against the Canterbury Crusaders, governing body SANZAR announced yesterday.

Nonu was red carded by referee Steve Walsh in the 58th minute for his tackle on Crusaders’ winger Tom Marshall.

“Nonu accepted that the tackle was poorly executed by lifting his opponent,” SANZAR judicial officer Jannie Lubbe said in his ruling. “A medical report obtained from the Crusaders confirmed that the player involved suffered no injury.

“Taking into account the record of the player over a period of more than a decade playing Super Rugby, which is not unblemished, his early plea of guilt and the remorse shown, I have determined to give the player a discount of one week and to suspend the player from all rugby for three weeks.”

Highlanders flanker Jarrad Hoeata was sinbinned in the first half for illegal play while Crusaders’ hooker Corey Flynn was also sinbinned for a head-high tackle during the feisty game, which the Crusaders won 40-12.