Junior Paulo out for nine weeks
Nine players were charged over the first seven games of the season-opening weekend by the NRL Match Review Committee, the heaviest of which is a Grade 3 Dangerous Throw charge on Eels forward Junior Paulo for his 29th minute tackle on Matt Ballin that will see him miss nine weeks.
Paulo was unsuccessful in having his charge downgraded at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night after the club elected to challenge the grading, meaning he will miss nine games for Parramatta.
Melbourne's Jesse Bromwich (Grade 1 Careless High Tackle) entered an early plea and is free to play this weekend. However Round 1 Storm debutant Felise Kaufusi (Grade 2 Dangerous Contact) will miss one game after taking the early plea for his ugly challenge on Dragons playmaker Benji Marshall.
Brisbane prop James Gavet compounded his disappointing night in his first match in Broncos colours with a costly 80th minute Grade 2 Shoulder Charge on Issac Luke in the first game of the year. Gavet has taken an early guilty plea and a three-week ban.
Match Review Coordinator Michael Buettner said there were three key components that made Gavet's shoulder charge a Grade 2.
"His upper arm was tucked into his side, the force was considered low to moderate and he made direct contact with his shoudler to the head of Issac Luke," Buettner said.
Manly forward James Hasson could be outed for three games should he be found guilty of a Grade 2 Dangerous Contact charge on former teammate Anthony Watmough early in the second half of last Friday night's clash. Even if he takes the early guilty plea, his 88 carryover points means he'll still miss three matches.
The other major charge out of the weekend is Bulldogs five-eighth Josh Reynolds, who was hit with a Grade 1 Dangerous Throw on Penrith fullback Matt Moylan in the 38th minute of their loss to the Panthers on Sunday, although he is set to miss 6-8 weeks due to a fractured arm anyway.
Reynolds was not charged for what looked like a trip on Panthers hooker James Segeyaro.
"We did see the leg come out but felt that the arm was simultanous in terms of trying to make the tackle," Buettner said.
South Sydney's Ben Lowe (Dangerous Contact – Head/Neck), Newcastle's Siona Mata'utia (Dangerous Throw), Wests Tigers' Mitchell Moses (High Tackle – Careless), North Queensland's Johnathan Thurston (Tripping), and Canberra's Jack Wighton (Striking) all escaped bans with early guilty pleas.