Taione suspended for Six Weeks



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Sharks’ reserve forward Epi Taione has been suspended for six weeks for head-butting a  Hurricanes player in their Super 14 rugby clash.

Taione was sent off by referee Paul Marks for headbutting Hurricanes forward Jeremy Thrush in a maul during the Wellington match on Saturday, which ended in a 13-13 draw.

Taione told a hearing Monday he did not intend to head-butt Thrush, who was struck on his chin but not injured.

Judiciary officer Nicholas Davidson said in a ruling released Tuesday it was open whether the head-butt was intentional, but concluded the Tongan Test player’s action was “grossly reckless”.

Taking into account a suspension in 2004 for biting, Davidson suspended Taione until May 19.

Lions reserve forward Ross Geldenhuys was cleared of striking Highlanders player Jamie Mackintosh in the head with his knee after a scrum collapsed in their match in Dunedin on Friday.

Davidson said the video evidence did not clearly confirm the act was deliberate.

Sapa-AFP –   

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