Super Rugby 2020: Highlanders back Sio Tomkinson cops three-week ban for dangerous tackle

  • 18/02/2020

The Highlanders have lost outside back Sio Tomkinson for three weeks, after his dangerous tackle against the Brumbies on Saturday. 

The 23-year-old was charged over the yellow-carded hit on Brumbies fullback Tom Banks early in the second half of the Highlanders' 23-22 win

Tomkinson seemed to make direct contact with Banks' head, but referee Nic Berry felt video evidence wasn't clear enough to warrant a send-off. 

Further analysis by the citing commissioner suggested the tackle was a red-card offence, but after an early guilty plea, Tomkinson escaped a longer spell on the sidelines.

"Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player and submissions from his legal representative, Aaron Lloyd, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the citing under Law 9.13," a Sanzaar statement read.

"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 World Rugby instructions that dictate any incident of foul play involving contact with the head must start at a mid-range level. 

"However, taking into account mitigating factors, including the player's clean judicial record and the fact the player has pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity, the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the suspension to three weeks.

"The player is therefore suspended for three weeks, up to and including the Saturday, March 7, 2020."

Brumbies coach Dan McKeller was furious after his side's close loss, claiming the incident was a clear red card and the Highlanders should have played the final 36 minutes with 14-men. 

"I thought it was a red card, but I don't want to sit here and whinge about referees or anything like that," he said.

"If you're asking me as a rugby fan... from what we've seen previously, I thought it was in that red-card threshold, but I'm not going to sit here and whinge about the opposition. I've heard enough of that."

Tomkinson will be available when the Highlanders travel to Argentina to take on the Jaguares next month. 

He will miss games against the Crusaders, Rebels and Bulls.