Rugby: One-match suspension for Bowden

Daniel Bowden, of the Highlanders, tackles Riaan Swanepoel, of the Sharks, during their teams'...
Daniel Bowden, of the Highlanders, tackles Riaan Swanepoel, of the Sharks, during their teams' Super 14 match in Durban on Sunday.
The Highlanders will have to do without nippy midfield back Daniel Bowden against the Lions this Saturday, after he was suspended for one game yesterday.

The suspension came somewhat out of the blue, as nothing had been reported from South Africa after the match against the Sharks in Durban on Sunday.

But it emerged yesterday that not only had Bowden faced a disciplinary hearing in Durban on Sunday, but Highlanders tighthead prop Clint Newland had also been under the microscope.

Newland was charged with striking Sharks prop Tendai Mtawarira, but the charge was dismissed.

Bowden was not quite so lucky, and will miss Saturday morning's game in Johannesburg.

Bowden tackled Sharks centre Riaan Swanepoel with five minutes left in the match.

The tackle was around the neck and Bowden immediately apologised for the indiscretion.

Referee Phillip Bosch ruled the tackle was dangerous and Bowden was yellow-carded, and left the field.

Bowden had already been penalised at the end of the first half for a high tackle on his opposite, Francois Steyn.

At the hearing the Highlanders argued Bowden and the team had already been penalised, by the yellow card, but that plea fell on deaf ears.

The cases were heard in Durban by Sanzar judicial officer Dekker Govender.

Sharks halfback Rory Kockott, who was shown a red card by Bosch, after slapping Highlanders loose forward Adam Thomson in the final minutes, will have his disciplinary hearing in Durban this morning.

Keegan Daniel was also yellow-carded in the dying minutes for a dangerous tackle but he did not have to answer any charge.

A red card means an automatic judicial hearing for the player.

Bowden's absence will be felt by the Highlanders, who have been struggling in attack in their past few games.

Bowden started the season at first five-eighth but was soon pushed out one place, with Mathew Berquist filling the No 10 jersey.

But Berquist has been struggling for form, and Bowden may have been considered for a return to the No 10 jersey.

Johnny Leota now appears the obvious replacement for Bowden, although Jayden Hayward may be a candidate, and he can also play in the No 10 jersey.

Hayward has not played for two months, and his only recent game time has been in Dunedin club rugby.

With the suspension, Bowden now has the possibility of just one game left in a Highlanders jersey.

He has transferred to Auckland for the Air New Zealand Cup, and will probably be picked for the Blues next season.

 

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