Referee Angus Gardner shows a yellow card during a Super Rugby match. Photo: Martin Hunter / www.photosport.nz

SYDNEY - The Queensland Reds suffered another setback Wednesday with lock Lukhan Tui suspended for three weeks for a lifting tackle, just days after skipper Scott Higginbotham was slapped with a ban.

Tui received a yellow card by the referee for his tackle, which speared Melbourne Rebels scrum-half Will Genia head first into the ground in the first half of his team's opening match on Friday.

He could have been suspended for six weeks but SANZAAR said in a statement it was reduced due to "mitigating factors including the player's excellent disciplinary record and his guilty plea at the earliest possible opportunity".

Tui will be out of action up to and including March 17, the same length of time as Higginbotham, who got a red card in the same match.

Higginbotham was sent off in the 10th minute for using his shoulder in a forceful high tackle, reducing the Reds to 14 men as they went down 45-19.

Meanwhile, Auckland Blues loose forward Antonio Kiri Kiri was suspended for one week by the Super Rugby judiciary over two disciplinary breaches during his side's loss to Otago Highlanders.

Kiri Kiri was issued a yellow card for a high tackle on Lima Sopoaga during the match on Friday and also cited for potentially headbutting Aki Seiuli.

The judical committee found there was not enough evidence to find Kiri Kiri deliberately struck Seiuli but his behaviour still warranted a warning.

That activated a rule stating that any player who receives a warning and a yellow card in the same match is automatically suspended for one week.

The judiciary warned the player came close to receiving a red card for his behaviour and similar conduct would "give rise to further disciplinary consequences for Mr Kiri Kiri".

The Blues lost the match 41-34, with the Highlanders taking a decisive lead during the 10 minutes Kiri Kiri was in the sinbin.

He will miss the Blues match against Waikato Chiefs on Friday.

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