A deliberate and sustained action
Ben Tameifuna of the Chiefs has been issued with an off-field yellow card for giving an opponent a 'facial massage'.
This follows the table-topping Chiefs' 15-43 loss to the Crusaders in Christchurch on Friday.
The Chiefs prop was found guilty of having contravened Law 10.4 (m): 'Acts contrary to good sportsmanship. A player must not do anything that is against the spirit of good sportsmanship in the playing enclosure – dangerous grabbing on an opponent without the ball.'
Tameifuna put his hand over the face and eye area of Crusaders prop Wyatt Crokett, whilst in a maul.
It was ruled that the "deliberate and sustained" grappling head-lock action had potential to cause injury to Crockett’s facial area and was an act contrary to good sportsmanship.
The incident occurred in the 15th minute of the match.
An off-field yellow card may be issued by the SANZAR citing commissioner for foul play incidents that are very close to, but in his opinion do not meet the red card threshold for citings.
In this case the incident was not acted on by the referee for the match and on further review of the match footage the citing commissioner deemed an off-field yellow card was appropriate.