Highlanders flanker James Haskell has been suspended for the next three Super Rugby matches.
The England international pleaded guilty to striking in Sunday morning's win over the Cheetahs in Blomefentein.
Haskell struck Cheetahs flanker Justin Downey two times as he left a scrum just before half-time.
A scuffle between the two players broke out after the incident and consequently Haskell was given a yellow and white card before judicial officer Mike Heron reviewed the footage and suspended him for three weeks.
Haskell will now miss the Highlanders game against the Sharks in Durban this weekend, and home games against the Hurricanes and the Bulls.
The regular six week suspension period for striking was reduced to three based on Haskell's early guilty plea, his previously clean record and the remorse shown.
Haskell will next be available in their round 14 match against the Blues at Eden Park on May 26.
The white card is a great idea. It is used in mass brawls too, they can look at the whole thing and not isolated incidents.
James threw a peach of a punch, the second punch. He was in trouble from the start.
I heard that the guy grabbed him in 'the family jewells' hence the punch.
He seems to be popular with the club, but fans there are not happy. Typical bloody NZ fans! They feel he is a luxury that does not perform. Not quite what I feel after watching some of his performances.
the thing I have noticed most about haskell playing for the highlanders is that he is really focussing on his basics. He is doing a hell of a lot of carrying and dirty work on the floor and seems to have not risked too much of the flashy stuff, that has been saved well and truely for Thompstone who has grabbed the headlines as a result.
I am looking forward to having him back, don't mind if he brings back a bit of fight with him either!
I love Hasks both as a player and person but cant help to feel he is a little lost playing out there..he seems to be a second off the ball, which I suppose is understandable playing a new style and new country etc. I am glad he has gone there though as it shows he is not all about the brand and the money, but about bettering his game...by the time he arrives back with us he will be a completely new player and one I look forward to seeing immnesley...just at the moment he is nit quite up to speed for the super league
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