Monday, June 09, 2008
Tongan international Epi Taione has been suspended for two weeks after being found guilty of committing a dangerous tackle during the Pacific islanders' rugby clash with New Zealand Maori on the weekend.
Taione will miss Tonga's Pacific Nations Cup matches against Japan and Australia A.
He was initially yellow carded for a high tackle on New Zealand Maori No 8 Thomas Waldrom in the 67th minute of the match, won by the hosts 20-9 at North Harbour Stadium.
IRB judicial officer Chris Morris reviewed footage of the incident before handing down his judgement at a hearing in Auckland on Sunday.
Taione will however be available for Tonga's last two Pacific Nations Cup matches, against Samoa and Fiji.
Waldrom, who was dazed after being hit in the throat area, was expected to be available for the Maori side's next match in Fiji on Saturday.
This isn't the first time we've seen Taione lose his head, and attempt to take off someone else's. He was suspended for six weeks during the Super 14 for a headbutt while playing for the Sharks.
He's supposed to be a highly valuable asset to a team, what with his powerful running and supposed excellent hands. At this stage though, he's looking more like a liability whenever he takes to the park.
Epi Taione headbutt disgrace against the Hurricanes