Isaac Luke escapes with caution for 'cannonball' tackle

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The Independent Online

The New Zealand hooker, Isaac Luke, has escaped with a caution for his allegedly dangerous tackle in the first match of the Four Nations.

His warning is for a so-called "cannonball" tackle on Australia's David Shillington at Warrington last Friday. Shillington was held upright in the tackle and Luke hit him on the side of the knee – a technique which the game is trying to stamp out on both sides of the world.

Luke, a key man for the Kiwis in the tournament, has been cautioned for conduct contrary to the true spirit of the game and put on notice that any further offence will see him referred to a disciplinary hearing with the power to suspend him.

Shillington is not as badly injured as was first feared and is expected to be fit to return to training today. The news is not as good for the Kangaroos' centre, Willie Tonga. He was thought to have fractured ribs at Warrington and, although cleared of that, he has a hip injury that will rule him out against England at Wembley on Saturday.

Australia have a more than adequate replacement in Greg Inglis, who is fit after knee surgery.