Tomkinson cleared over red card

Sio Tomkinson
Sio Tomkinson
Highlanders midfielder Sio Tomkinson has escaped further punishment from his red card and has had it removed from his record.

In a decision released last night, a Sanzaar judicial committee was satisfied on the balance of probabilities the referee was wrong in issuing the red card.

Tomkinson was sent from the field by referee Glen Jackson last Friday night with about 15 minutes left in the Highlanders match against the Chiefs in Hamilton.

Tomkinson attempted to tackle Chiefs skipper Brodie Retallick and Jackson ruled at the time it was a tackle which collided with the head and sent the midfielder off. Retallick left the field straight after the tackle.

The committee ruled Tomkinson's shoulder made contact with the shoulder of Retallick. He did not make contact with the head of Retallick and did attempt to use his arms in his tackle. Due to the rapid change in angle from the Chiefs player and the tackle of the other Highlanders player involved, the incident appeared to be more significant than it was.

The committee said, after the benefit of lengthy analysis and review of the footage, there was no contact to the head and no foul play.

The red card will be removed from Tomkinson's record.

At the hearing, Tomkinson gave evidence as did the Highlanders coaching staff and a legal representative. The committee also talked to referee Jackson and sought his views.

Tomkinson had started on the bench in the game and is not in the match-day squad to play the Reds tomorrow night.

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