Crusaders winger Nemani Nadolo will miss three Super Rugby matches after pleading guilty to a dangerous lifting tackle on Brumbies halfback Tomas Cubelli.
It’s a huge blow for the Crusaders who are in red-hot form, currently on a seven-game winning streak.
Nadolo will miss matches against the Reds, Highlanders and Waratahs, and have managed to use the same bye loophole as the Waratahs and Reds had this season, after the Crusaders showed proof he would be playing club rugby during the Crusaders’ week off this weekend.
SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Chris Morris said World Rugby’s crackdown on lifting tackles was a key consideration in the case, along with Nadolo’s early plea and his lack of intent in the tackle, resulting in what is effectively a three-match ban.
"The offence was categorised as low-end which carries a four week suspension,” he said.
"I took into account as mitigating factors the player's disciplinary record after a lengthy professional career, his guilty plea and the fact that the tackle was reckless rather than deliberate.
“The Player was therefore given a two-week discount on the original sanction creating a recommended sanction of two weeks.
"I took into account World Rugby memorandums about lifting tackles and the need to deter this very action from the game. As such I found it necessary to add two additional weeks to the recommended sanction.
"The Player is accordingly suspended from all rugby for four weeks until 21 May 2016 which effectively is a three match Super Rugby suspension.
“We were provided with proof that he would have been selected to play in a club match on 30 April 2016, which the player will also miss as a result of the suspension.”
In other judicial news, Highlanders centre Jason Emery was also suspended for four weeks after a dangerous tackle on Sharks fullback Willie Le Roux.