Hawke's Bay's Tony Lamborn and Manawatu's Newton Tudreu have both received suspensions for their roles in a brawl in the final round robin match of the Mitre 10 Cup.
Lamborn started the fracas with some hostile punching, before Tudreu came in with a knee to the head. Both players were sent off by referee Cam Stone in a rare instance of a double red card. Hawke's Bay won the match 36-31.
Several players became involved in the group altercation, and New Zealand Rugby Duty Judicial Officer Helen Morgan, who heard both judicial cases, described the cases against both men to be of a serious nature.
Lamborn landed several punches that connected with the heads of opposition players, and while considering the actual offending to be in the mid-range of seriousness, Morgan said Lamborn had not been involved in the initial incident and joining the fray afterward was a response that needed to be discouraged.
Mitigating factors of a clean judicial record and acceptance of responsibility saw a reduction in the suspension from six to four weeks.
Tudreu joined the incident from a distance and struck an opponent's head with his knee - an offence serious enough to warrant an eight week suspension. However, taking into account Tudreu's clean record and his admission of guilt, she reduced the suspension to five weeks.
Lamborn is suspended from all rugby for his next four matches, and Tudreu is suspended from all rugby for five scheduled matches.