The Hurricanes lock James Broadhurst has been suspended from all rugby for one week after pleading guilty to kneeing the Blues player Luke Braid in the face during their match in Palmerston North.
Broadhurst will miss the Hurricanes' game with the Highlanders in Dunedin this Friday.
The All Black Jeremy Thrush is expected to take the place of Broadhurst in the Hurricanes' starting line up after coming off the bench against the Blues.
The SANZAR Judicial Officer Robert Stelzner SC accepted the guilty plea after Broadhurst was cited following the game for contravening Law 10.4 (a) Punching or striking.
The incident occurred in the 61st minute of the match.
Stelzner says after considering the video material, he was satisfied Broadhurst did not deliberately strike Braid's head with his knee, but did make contact in a careless manner.
"The player was being held as he was trying to move away from the ruck, being made to go somewhat off balance by being held, and in the process of extricating himself from the ruck to get back into the defensive line, the player brought his body weight down forcibly onto his opponent. In the process of doing this, the player struck his opponent on his cheek with his lower leg causing his opponent's head to hit the ground and subsequently suffer concussion symptoms.
"The player accepted he had contravened Law 10.4(a) and expressed remorse for doing so. He also apologised to his opponent after the match. The player is 27 years of age with a clean record, never having been cited before in more than 50 Super Rugby matches.
"Given the above mitigating circumstances and the fact that the transgression was more careless than deliberate, albeit with unfortunate consequences for his opponent, I came to the conclusion that a sanction of a one-week suspension was appropriate in the circumstances of this incident."