'Thug' rugby star sent off for sickening shoulder charge

Chiefs centre Johnny Faauli has been slammed by fans after a brutal high tackle left his opponent heavily concussed.

The Chiefs beat the Hurricanes 28-24 on Friday night but it wasn’t enough to snatch hosting rights for a Super Rugby quarter-final.

In a fluctuating final-round clash in Hamilton, the Hurricanes did enough to remain in front of their Kiwi rivals on the standings and secure the first wildcard slot.

The fifth-placed Chiefs needed to beat the fourth-placed Hurricanes by 23 points and secure a bonus point to reverse their positions.

They looked on track to do so after opening up a 21-0 lead at halftime.

What a shocker! Image: Fox Sports

The Hurricanes shed their high error count after the break to fight back with four second-half tries.

Their cause was helped by a red card shown to Faauli for a 63rd-minute shoulder to the head of Wes Goosen, which concussed the Hurricanes centre.

Fans and even the Hurricanes themselves took to social media to slam the Chiefs centre.

The result means the Hurricanes host the same opponents in next week’s quarter-final.

The visitors will arrive on a three-match winning tear, while the Hurricanes have slumped to four losses in their past five games.

Adding more merit to the Chiefs’ win was the fact they rested key players this week, including All Blacks pair Damian McKenzie and Sam Cane.

It didn’t stop their team scoring converted tries to lock Brodie Retallick, halfback Brad Weber and fullback Solomon Alaimalo.

Weber’s try was a 70m intercept effort following a loose pass from out-of-sorts Hurricanes playmaker Beauden Barrett.

Goosen began the Hurricanes’ fightback while other tryscorers were Blade Thomson, Ben May and Julian Savea.

Hurricanes skipper Brad Shields could be in doubt next week after exiting in the first quarter with a rib injury.

with AAP