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Higginbotham given three week Super Rugby ban

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Reds Super Rugby captain Scott Higginbotham has been slapped with a three week ban for his dangerous tackle on a Rebels player.

Higginbotham was red carded in the Reds Super Rugby opening match against the Melbourne Rebels after he led with the shoulder in a tackle on Rebels’ Matt Philip.

The Reds lost the match 45-19 and could suffer from the match as Higginbotham’s team-mate Lukhan Tui faces a Sanzaar disciplinary hearing on Tuesday.

Higginbotham was sent from the field after just seven minutes at AAMI Park on Saturday and has been suspended up to and including Saturday March 17.

The foul play review committee of Nigel Hampton QC (chairman), Stephen Hardy and John Langford assessed the case.

In his finding, Hampton said the suspension was reduced from the “mid-range entry point of six weeks” to three weeks.

“Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including a statement from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Mark Martin QC, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the red card under Law 9.13. This was an objectively dangerous tackle.

“With respect to sanction the Foul Play Review Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of six weeks due to the players direct contact by the player’s shoulder to his opponents head. However, taking into account mitigating factors including the Player’s good record over a long career, the lack of injury to the victim and his guilty plea at the earliest possible opportunity, the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the suspension to three weeks.”

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