Rugby player banned for kung fu-style kick to opponent’s head (VIDEO)
Tevita Nabura, of New Zealand club Otago Highlanders, kicked Cam Clark of Australian team New South Wales Waratahs in the face while collecting a high ball in the teams’ Super Rugby encounter.
Highlanders winger Nabura, 25, was handed a 12-week ban for the incident by the league’s Foul Play Committee on Friday, although the sentence was halved for the player’s “remorse, his inexperience and his guilty plea at the first available opportunity.”
The brutal high-kick came in the 19th minute of the Highlanders’ game against their Australian rivals at Sydney's Allianz Stadium.
The Fijian-born winger was dismissed by the referee for the incident, and his team went on to suffer a 41-12 defeat to their Australian rivals.
In sanctioning the player, the panel chairman Nigel Hampton QC said: “The player’s action was seen by the committee as a misguided effort by an inexperienced player to both try and regain balance whilst in the air and ward off the approaching opposing player,” Reuters reports.
The Highlanders’ defeat was the first time a New Zealand club had lost to Australian opposition in the past 40 matches – a run stretching back two years.