It took just 15 minutes for All Black hooker Dane Coles to court his first controversy of 2020, flying into Sharks’ reserve Sanele Nohamba while he lay on the ground.

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Nohamba, rolling out of the tackle but in a rather defenseless on the ground, was met with the full force of a flying Coles looking to make a physical statement. The tackle looked like making contact with the head and neck area, aside from the fact that a player on the ground cannot be tackled. The ref stopped play immediately but the incident sparked pushing and shoving before being referred to the TMO.

Coles avoided receiving a card for the tackle which drew the ire of many Sharks’ fans on social media, who didn’t hold back when venting their displeasure online. He was labelled a ‘disgrace to the game’ and the ‘king of cheap shots’ among other things.

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The match was the first of the season for Coles returning from injury, who scored within minutes of coming on the field as a replacement from a pushover try.

The Hurricanes finished comfortable winners 38-22 handing the Sharks their first loss of the season. Coles will face a nervous wait to see if he is cited for the incident.

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Former Hurricane Michael Fatialofa makes a massive step:

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