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A New Zealand rugby player has been handed a massive four-year ban after he strangled an opponent during a game as he lay on the ground.
Rolleston’s Kerry Ilalion was red-carded after he held down Prebbleton’s Simon Lancaster and choked him at the bottom of a ruck during a game in Division Two of the New Zealand League.
And to make matters worse, Lancaster claims while lying on the ground Ilalio punched him several times.
“He punched me in the private parts and then the face.” Lancaster told Stuff
“I grabbed hold of him and said there’s no need for that and obviously he took offence to that and held me down by the neck and started choking me. I was seeing stars at one point, it was real hard to breathe.”
Ilalio reportedly strangled Lancaster while the game continued for “three or four phases” before on of his teammates ran in and tackled the player to force him to stop.
Lancaster was only able to play 10 minutes of the second half as he was struggling to breathe. The following day his throat was sore and he had difficulty swallowing.
Ilalio appeared before an independent judicial panel and was banned for 60 playing weeks on a charge of strangling around the neck. Disciplinary chiefs said it was the first recorded charge of strangulation in rugby they’d ever heard of.