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Du Plessis banned for four weeks after red card

Du Plessis, who is likely to be part of the Springbok squad at the World Cup, was sent off.

Seta Tamanivalu (C) of the Chiefs hands off Marcell Coetzee (L) and Cobus Reinach (R) of the Sharks to break a tackle during the SuperXV rugby match between Sharks and Chiefs on 21 March, 2015 in Durban. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Sharks hooker Bismarck du Plessis was suspended for four weeks on Sunday after kicking an opponent during his team's narrow Super Rugby victory over the Waikato Chiefs in Durban on Saturday, SANZAR said.

Du Plessis, who is likely to be part of the Springbok squad at the World Cup, was sent off after just 18 minutes for kicking out at an opponent in the Sharks' 12-11 win, a match which saw three players dismissed.

Du Plessis pleaded guilty before a SANZAR disciplinary hearing and is suspended from all forms of the game up to an including April 18.

Du Plessis's opposite number, Hika Elliot, of the Chiefs, was also shown a red card and has been given a one-week ban for an illegal shoulder charge at a ruck.

Sharks centre Frans Steyn, who made a dangerous tip tackle on Chiefs flyhalf Aaron Cruden, faces a disciplinary hearing on Monday after his early dismissal.

Du Plessis lashed out with his boot while Elliot rammed his shoulder into the back of prop Tendai Mtawarira's head to be sent off.

Steyn was shown red after upending All Black Cruden and driving him head-first into the turf.