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Saturday, October 16, 1999 Published at 13:48 GMT 14:48 UK

Taufo'ou banned for 'flying' punch

Ngalu Taufo'ou: His attack on Richard Hill has earned him a 28 day ban

Tongan prop Ngalu Taufo'ou has been suspended for 28 days after his attack on England's Richard Hill at Twickenham.

Taufo'ou was expelled by Australian referee Wayne Erickson for running 10 metres and launching a flying punch which floored the English flank forward five minutes before half time.

[ image: Brendan Venter: Dismissed for stamping]
Brendan Venter: Dismissed for stamping
The incident came amid fighting which was sparked by a dangerous tackle by Isi Tapueluelu on Matt Perry while the English fullback was in the air catching the ball.

Tapueluelu and English prop Phil Vickery were both shown yellow cards and could face suspensions.

Taufo'ou is one of four players sent off during this week's group games, while 11 have been cited for foul play.

The other three expelled were Fiji's Marika Vunibaka, Canada's Dan Baugh and South African centre Brendan Venter.

Flanker Baugh - sent off for stamping against Namibia on Thursday - has been banned for four weeks.

The former night club bouncer was informed of the decision on Saturday after a disciplinary hearing had studied the referee's report and looked at video evidence.

Venter: I'm innocent

After Friday's clash against Uruguay, in which Venter was red-carded for stamping, he said: "Initially, I didn't even feel bad about it. There was absolutely no malice intended.

"It was a basic situation where he (Panizza) was lying on the ground and he wouldn't release the ball.

"Then when I tried to rake the ball out of his hands, it wasn't there anymore because Joost (van der Westhuizen) had taken it from him."

Springbok coach Nick Mallett threw the support of the South African team management behind Venter.

"We'll certainly be defending him. A representative from the SA management will accompany Brendan at the hearing and we'll stand by him.

"It's incredible that he was even cited for that incident. It happened so fast.

"In a millisecond Joost pulled the ball out of the Uruguayan number seven's hands and Brendan raked the guy exactly where the ball had been," Mallett said.

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