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ITM Cup
Tameifuna hit with five-week ban for shoving referee
ESPN Staff
September 5, 2014

Waikato prop Ben Tameifuna has been suspended from all rugby for five weeks for pushing referee Glen Jackson during the the ITM Cup victory against North Harbour in Auckland on Saturday.

Tameifuna was slapped with the ban following a three-hour hearing which looked into an incident in which he shoved Jackson while Waikato were defending their try line late in a 22-16 win. Jackson was knocked off his feet but was not injured. A few minutes later he yellow-carded Tameifuna but for a separate incident.

Citing commissioner John Wootton deemed the push contrary to the spirit of good sportsmanship, and judicial officer Chris Morris agreed on Thursday. Morris reduced the length of the suspension after hearing evidence from Tameifuna, Chiefs coach Dave Rennie, the Waikato coaching and management team and Jackson.

Tameifuna's post-match apology to Jackson and subsequent remorse for the incident saw the ban reduced, along with a defence that the push was instinctive rather than malicious.

"It is imperative that players instinctively know that it is never, under any circumstances, appropriate for a player to abuse, verbally or physically, a match official," Morris said.

Tameifuna, who turned 23 on the day of the game, is banned until October 5, making him available for Waikato's final-round game against Bay of Plenty four days later.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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