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Highlander Emery gets four-week ban

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 25/04/2016

Highlanders midfield back Jason Emery has been suspended for four weeks for his collision with airborne Sharks fullback Willie le Roux.

Emery was red-carded for the incident in the 12th minute of the Highlanders' 15-14 defeat in Dunedin on Friday night.

He will miss three matches, as his ban ends on a weekend in which the Highlanders have a bye.

However, the defending champions, who are fifth in the Australasian group, will be without him for a difficult stretch when they meet the Brumbies, Chiefs and Crusaders.

At a Sanzaar judicial hearing, Emery pleaded guilty to a charge of tackling an opponent jumping for the ball.

In its decision, the judicial committee said the offence was mid-range, with a starting point of a six-week suspension.

It took into account Emery's clean record after 70 first-class matches, his apology to le Roux immediately after the match and on social media.

It also noted his guilty plea and the fact the tackle was reckless rather than deliberate.

The incident happened as le Roux was contesting a bomb and was hit by Emery, got flipped over and landed upside down on the back of his neck.

Despite the nasty fall, the Springboks fullback got back up, went for a concussion test and returned to the field midway through the opening spell.

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