De Villiers banned for dangerous tackle

New Zealand 31 South Africa 17

The South African wing Jean de Villiers has been banned for two weeks following a dangerous tackle during his team's comprehensive defeat in Wellington on Saturday.

De Villiers' lifting tackle on Rene Ranger in the first half at Westpac Stadium was picked out by citing commissioner Scott Nowland, and he appeared in front of judicial officer Dennis Wheelahan yesterday. His punishment means he must sit out next Saturday's Tri Nations game against Australia in Brisbane; South Africa do not have a fixture on the following weekend.

"Around about the 60th minute I thought the game could have gone either way," the All Blacks coach Graham Henry said. "We were under pressure right on our line for about three or four minutes and we defended superbly. It was a very important part of the game – probably the turning point."

The All Blacks not only managed to hold out the Springboks during that period but then swept downfield to score their fourth try, with replacement winger Israel Dagg ghosting past four defenders.

The Springboks coach, Peter de Villiers, cut a disappointed figure afterwards, saying: "I'm frustrated at the moment [by the rule interpretations which give the attacking team the advantage at the breakdown]. The only thing a coach can ask for is consistency. We have played six games and have had six different types of [interpretation of] plays on the ground."