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Serial offender Patelesio Tomkinson handed lengthy ban for dangerous tackle

Patelesio Tomkinson. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

Patelesio Tomkinson will miss six matches of Otago’s Mitre 10 Cup campaign following a dangerous tackle made by the midfielder on Auckland’s Simon Hickey during their Saturday afternoon match.

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Tomkinson led with his shoulder as he collided with Hickey’s head in the 81st minute of the match. The Highlanders centre was promptly sent off for the tackle and the game ended shortly thereafter, 38-6 in Auckland’s favour.

Tomkinson has built a reputation as a fierce defender but his aggression has too often seen the midfielder on the receiving end of penalty calls.

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In 2019, Tomkinson was handed a red card for a dangerous tackle on Chiefs lock Brodie Retallick. While the SANZAAR judiciary struck the card from the record, Tomkinson’s tackled was at the very least worthy of a yellow card.

More recently, Tomkinson spent 10 minutes in the bin in the Highlanders’ win over the Brumbies earlier this year for a dangerous shot on Tom Banks. That yellow card was upgraded to a three-week suspension following the match.

Barely a month ago, Tomkinson’s off the ball hit on Crusaders prop Oli Jager sent the prop to hospital. While Crusaders coach Scott Robertson thought Tomkinson’s actions warranted a red card, the midfielder was only shown yellow.

Following Saturday’s match, All Blacks and Auckland star Rieko Ioane labelled Tomkinson’s last-minute tackle on Hickey as a “cheap shot”.

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“You never want to go out to hurt anyone in the other team, and you never want to intentionally do that,” Ioane told Stuff after the win. “Whether he [Tomkinson] did… I’m sort of going to give him the benefit of the doubt that he didn’t, but in the end it looked quite bad.

“He’s a hard hitter, he always has been since he went to school, and he just needs to drop his hips.”

Following the erroneous sending off against the Chiefs last year, Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger defended the now-24-year-old midfielder.

“He’s actually a pretty softly-spoken guy, and pretty gentle, but as soon as he crosses the chalk, he’s certainly got that ruthless mindset about him.

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“[He’s] not too dissimilar to Brian Lima, who’s also a Highlanders legend, so there’s a bit of Brian Lima in Sio’s mindset around the tackle.”

Tomkinson’s latest six-week suspension means he’ll miss Otago’s matches against Manawatu, Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay, Wellington, Counties Manukau and Northland.

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Jon 5 hours ago
Why Scott Robertson may need to ease big names aside for All Blacks' flexibility

> it was apparent Robertson was worried about his lack of experience at half-back, hence the decision to start veteran TJ Perenara and put Finlay Christie, the next most experienced number nine, on the bench. I don’t think it was this at all. It was a general scope he was putting over all the playerbase, he went with this cohesion factor in every position. > If the main priority is to build different tactical elements to the gameplan, then Ratima is the man in whom Robertson needs to trust and promote. This also I think is antagonist towards the reference game plans. The other plans do not need the speed of which Perenara (atleast) can’t provide, and I think personal is going to be the main point of difference between these games/opponents. That is the aspect of which I think most people will struggle to grasp, a horses for course selection policy over the typical ‘Top All Black 15’. That best 15 group of players is going to have to get broken down into categories. So it test one we saw Christie control the game to nullify the English threats out of existence and grind to a win. In test two we saw Ratima need to come on which dictated that this time they would run them off their feet with speed and the space did open up and the victory did come. Horses for courses. The same concepts are going to exist for every group, front row, lock and loose forward balance, midfield, and outside backs all can have positional changes that the players may be asked to accentualize on and develop. There might be some that _it_ will not ever click for, but they’ll hopefully still be getting to enjoy unbelievable comeback victories and late game shutouts to close it down. Knowing does not mean not enjoying.

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