It's come too late to help the NSW Waratahs, but All Blacks prop Joe Moody has been suspended for four matches for striking Kurtley Beale during the Crusaders' controversial 31-29 Super Rugby win in Christchurch.
The SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee accepted Moody's guilty plea after he was charged with contravening Law 9.12: Striking with hand or arm.
Banned: Joe Moody’s raised forearm on Kurtley Beale has seen him suspended.
The Waratahs were fuming that no action was taken at the time of the incident, when Moody took Beale out in an off-the-ball incident before backing up to score the Crusaders' first try in the 35th minute at AMI Stadium.
The table-topping Crusaders were trailing 29-0 at that stage before Moody's try sparked the biggest comeback in Super Rugby history.
It was of no consolation to the Waratahs that SANZAAR'S citing commissioner later deemed the incident had met the red-card threshold for foul play.
Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson was unable to hide his frustration after the Waratahs had to settle for a losing bonus point to retain their Australian conference lead, citing the Moody hit a turning point.
"A couple of decisions proved really costly; obviously the Joe Moody incident with the elbow, which the referees missed," he said.
The loosehead has now been suspended from all forms of the game for two matches, up to and including May 25.
The ban rules Moody out from New Zealand derbies against the Blues and the Hurricanes and will leave the 31-Test star underdone for the All Blacks' three- match series with France next month.
Moody was playing his first Super Rugby match of the year, having recovered from a serious shoulder injury suffered last September, followed by a month out with a fractured finger.
The Crusaders' victory took the winning streak of New Zealand teams over Australian opposition in Super Rugby to 39 matches since the Waratahs beat the Chiefs in Sydney in May 2016.
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