All Blacks’ Hooker Down for the Count in Four Week Ban

What’s good for the goose is also good for the gander when it comes to unnecessarily rough play on the pitch, and this time the hammer falls on All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu.  Mealamu has been suspended for four-weeks for a headbutt on England’s flanker Lewis Moody.

 

How is this different from Bokkies Botha?  Mealamu appears to have a pretty clean record when it comes to on-field incidents since a very questionable tackle of Brian O’Driscoll in 2005, and as a result his eight-week penalty was cut in half.  When Botha went after Jimmy Cowan at the 2010 Tri-Nations, he already had a much longer record of questionable play.

 

This suspension means that Mealamu is out for the rest of the All Blacks’ British “Grand Slam” tour, unless he is able to get it overturned.  He’ll also miss his role in the Barbarians’ match against South Africa on Dec. 4.   This currently leaves New Zealand with only two hookers to get through the rest of the tour, unless coach Graham Henry has someone up his sleeve to call up to international play.

 

The All Blacks will square up with Scotland this Saturday in the second match of the tour.

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