SBW weighs in on Luke tackle
Sonny Bill Williams says Issac Luke doesn't deserve to be rubbed out of Souths' first grand final in 43 years, and that there was no intent in the lifting tackle that saw the Rabbitohs hooker placed on report in their 32-22 defeat of the Roosters on Friday night.
Luke faces a nervous wait for the match review committee to hand down their charge sheet out of the game after upending Williams in the 38th minute.
With 50 carry-over points from a dangerous contact incident earlier in the year and a grade one dangerous worth 125 demerit points, any charge will see Luke ruled out of next Sunday's decider, though Souths would likely appeal in a bid to have their influential hooker available.
Williams told reporters after the Roosters loss that his former Kiwi teammate did not deserve to miss a grand final, and that there was no malice in the tackle which also involved Rabbitohs second rower Ben Te'o
"I hope he gets off," Williams said.
"There was nothing in the tackle and it would be a great travesty if any player was to miss the grand final over a nothing tackle like that.
"There's no ill feelings, that's just footy. Hopefully 'Bully' gets off."
Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire said after the game he did not see an issue with Luke's tackle, and expects his star No. 9 to be available for next week's showdown with either Canterbury or Penrith at ANZ Stadium.
"I don't normally make comment about (issues on report) but I didn't think there was much in it at all," Maguire said.
Should Luke be suspended, Maguire does have the highly regarded Apisai Koroisau to call on, after the Penrith bound rake impressed plenty when he deputised for an injured Luke earlier this year.
Roosters bookends Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Sam Moa will also front the judiciary next week to answer charges that could affect their availability for New Zealand's Four Nation's campaign next month.
Waerea- Hargreaves was placed on report for dangerous contact on Te'o in the 23rd minute of play, after allegedly headbutting him as he appeared to try to pull out of a shoulder charge off the ball.
Moa also earned the referee's ire for an ugly swinging arm on Bunnies centre Kirisome Auva'a as frustrations boiled over for the premiers.