Reds captain Higginbotham banned for 3 weeks

SYDNEY (AP) Captain Scott Higginbotham will miss the Queensland Reds‘ next two Super Rugby matches after being suspended for three weeks Monday for a dangerous tackle.

Higginbotham was sent off in the 10th minute of the Reds’ season opener on Friday against the Melbourne Rebels for a no-arms tackle on Matt Philip. The Reds lost 45-19.

Higginbotham appeared at a judicial hearing on Sunday and the panel released its finding Monday that Higginbotham’s tackle on Philip was ”objectively dangerous” because of the contact of the tackler’s shoulder to Philips’ head.

It found the offense merited a suspension of six weeks but reduced that to three weeks, taking into account Higginbotham’s good disciplinary record, his guilty plea and the fact Philip was not injured.