Locks cop the flak in Round 10
Sun, 20 Apr 2014 14:54
Round 10 has seen four locks being pinged for dangerous play over the weekend - Michael Rhodes, Flip van der Merwe, Michael Fitzgeald and Dominic Bird have all been cited.
Dominic Bird and Michael Fitzgerald have both pleaded guilty to dangerous tackles during the Crusaders versus Chiefs game in Hamilton and copped one-week suspensions.
Crusaders lock Bird offered a guilty plea for his shoulder charge on Chiefs No.8 Liam Squire in the first half of their 18-17 win on Saturday.
In a similar incident two minutes later, Fitzgerald struck Crusaders No.8 Kieran Read with a high tackle.
Squire and Read were both forced to leave the field and didn't return after failing concussion tests.
South African judicial officer Jannie Lubbe said a one-week ban was sufficient penalty for both players as their offences had mitigating circumstances and were at the low end of the scale.
The suspension will have no impact on Bird as the Crusaders have a bye next week.
However, the Chiefs must plan to play without Fitzgerald against the Brumbies in Canberra on Friday.
The pair were among four locks charged following games over the weekend.
Stormers lock Michael Rhodes was issued with an off-field yellow card for his lifting tackle charge - following his team's 18-3 win over the Lions in Cape Town.
Bulls captain Flip van der Merwe was charged for striking Waratahs prop Paddy Ryan late in their 12-19 loss in Sydney.
He is still to hear their fate.
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