Highlanders centre Ma'a Nonu banned for three weeks for tip tackle
Last Updated: 30/06/13 4:45pm
Ma'a Nonu tackles Tom Marshall in Dunedin
Highlanders centre Ma'a Nonu has been banned for three weeks after he was sent off in the 40-12 home defeat to the Crusaders on Saturday.
The 31-year-old New Zealand international received his marching orders in the 58th minute of the Super Rugby clash in Dunedin for a tip tackle on Crusaders back Tom Marshall.
Judicial officer Jannie Lubbe said: "The tackle was executed poorly and there was no intention to hurt the opponent. Nonu accepted that the tackle was poorly executed by lifting his opponent.
"The tackled player was not injured and the incident had no effect on the Crusaders team. 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 a period of three weeks."
The suspension rules Nonu out of the Highlanders' remaining two fixtures this season - the away clash with the Hurricanes on July 6 and the trip to Melbourne Rebels six days later.
Highlanders are bottom of the Super Rugby table with only two victories and 12 defeats, but they could climb three places if they achieve two bonus-point wins in their final two fixtures and other results go in their favour.
Nonu started for the All Blacks in all three of their recent Test victories over France.