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Highlanders wing Patelsio Tomkinson learns fate after dangerous tackle

By Tom Vinicombe
Patelsio-Tomkinson. (Photo by Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images)

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After facing the SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee over the weekend, Highlanders wing Patelsio Tomkinson has now learned his fate.


Tomkinson will spend the next three weeks on the sidelines for a dangerous tackle on Brumbies fullback Tom Banks in the Highlanders’ narrow victory on Saturday evening.

Tomkinson’s shoulder connected with Banks’ head in the reckless tackle which saw Tomkinson yellow carded at the time.

The Highlanders went on to win the match after scoring after the hooter but the outcome of the game could have been very different if the men from New Zealand’s deep south had been forced to play with 14 men for the majority of the second half.

Tomkinson pleaded guilty to the offence, which contravened Law 9.13: A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously.

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In his finding, Foul Play Review Committee Chairman Adam Casselden SC ruled the following:

“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.”

“With respect to sanction the Foul Play Review Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of 6 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 3 weeks.”

“The player is therefore suspended for 3 weeks, up to and including the Saturday 7 March 2020.”


Tomkinson was handed a red card in 2019 for a dangerous tackle on Chiefs lock Brodie Retallick. However, the subsequent judicial review struck the card from Tomkinson’s record after finding that there had been no shoulder-to-head contact.

Tomkinson will now miss the Highlanders’ upcoming matches against the Crusaders, Rebels and Bulls (although the Bulls match actually falls on March 8th, New Zealand time). He will next be available to play in the Highlanders’ March 15 game against the Jaguares in Bueno Aires.

The wise money would be on coach Aaron Mauger leaving the wing in New Zealand for the trip to Africa and Argentina, however.

The Highlanders currently sit in 12th place on the overall Super Rugby ladder after winning one match from two.

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Highlanders wing Patelsio Tomkinson learns fate after dangerous tackle