6 Mar 2017

Blues take Luatua suspension on the chin

7:33 am on 6 March 2017

The Blues have accepted a four-week ban handed down to Steven Luatua by the SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee following his red card offence in their Super Rugby loss to the Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday.

Steven Luatua is shown a red card by referee Ben O'Keeffe.

Steven Luatua is shown a red card by referee Ben O'Keeffe. Photo: Photosport

The Blues flanker has been suspended from all rugby for four weeks after pleading guilty to a dangerous tackle on Chiefs winger Tim Nanai-Williams.

Blues Head Coach Tana Umaga said the team was fully aware of the new laws regarding contact with the head area of an opponent, and the consequences for any mistake made by a tackler.

"We must be accurate in our tackling because if not, as we have now seen, the consequences can have a significant effect," Umaga said.

Luatua, an All Black who has signed with the English club Bristol, received a red card for the offence during the Blues' loss to the Chiefs on Friday.

The chairman of the foul play review committee, Nigel Hampton QC, said in a statement that the head-high tackle merited a six week suspension.

But he said taking into account Luatua's early admission of guilt and his remorse the Committee reduced the suspension by two weeks.