McCalman banned two weeks for 'tip' tackle
Wallabies backrower Ben McCalman's birthday celebrations were soured on Tuesday (local time) when he received a two-week ban for a dangerous tackle in the Super Rugby competition.
The inspirational Western Force number eight was cited for a spear, or 'tip', tackle on Otago Highlanders prop Kame Hames in the 73rd minute of his team's 31-29 victory in Dunedin on Saturday.
Judicial officer Nicholas Davidson accepted a guilty plea from the 29-test backrower and acknowledged his clean record in downgrading his ban from four weeks.
"I considered that the potential for harm was significant as the tackled player was lifted high off the ground and tipped forcefully with no attempt to arrest or mitigate his fall," Davidson said in media release.
McCalman, who turned 26 on Tuesday, will miss only the Chiefs match in Perth on Saturday as the Force have a bye the following weekend.
His suspension will be viewed dimly by coach Michael Foley after the perennially struggling team notched their second win in a row with victory against the Highlanders, their first successive wins in three years having given them rare momentum heading into the weekend.
Force are 2-2 in the season against the double defending champion Chiefs, who are undefeated.