Highlanders' Piutau cited for striking Rhodes

Highlanders winger Siale Piutau has been cited for striking Lions’ Michael Rhodes twice in the head in retaliation after the flanker pulled him out of a ruck in a headlock during their Super rugby match on Saturday.

Rhodes will also face a judicial panel for the headlock which happened during the tense second half of the Johannesburg-based Lions’ last-gasp 26-22 victory in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Both players had been cited for “acts contrary to good sportmanship” and would face the panel on Monday, governing body Sanzar said in a statement.

A suspension for Piutau would come as a further blow to the Highlanders’ post-season hopes, on a knife-edge following their shock defeat at home to the last-placed Lions.

The Dunedin-based Highlanders, who held sixth spot and the final play-off berth coming into the Lions match, have now slipped to eighth, two points behind the sixth-placed New South Wales Waratahs with three rounds remaining in the regular season. - Reuters

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