Jackson on report, Origin spot in jeopardy
Bulldogs back-rower Josh Jackson faces a nervous wait to find out if a dangerous throw on Penrith's Jamie Soward is set to rub him out of the Holden State of Origin decider at Suncorp Stadium on July 8.
Jackson was placed on report along with teammate Greg Eastwood for a 22nd-minute lifting tackle that saw Penrith playmaker Soward upended and land awkwardly. Although neither player put their hands between Soward's legs, the diminutive five-eighth was placed into a dangerous position.
A grade one charge seems the best Jackson could hope for given Soward was lifted above the horizontal, according to Bulldogs coach Des Hasler.
That charge is worth 125 points, which can be downgraded to 93 with an early guilty plea, but Jackson has 67 carry-over points hanging over his head having taken the early plea to a grade 1 tripping charge on Wests Tigers Mitchell Moses in Round 19 last year.
That means a grade one charge would put him out of Canterbury's "Back to Belmore" match against Melbourne Storm next weekend but leave him free to join Origin camp for the crucial decider. Anything higher than a grade one would likely see him miss Origin III, with Newcastle's Tariq Sims, St George Illawarra's Tyson Frizell and Cronulla's Andrew Fifita among the candidates to replace him on the Blues bench.
Jackson himself insisted there was no intent in the tackle.
"It's just one of those things that happens in a game. Obviously there was no intent there but it happens and it's in the hands of the match review committee now," Jackson said.
"I haven't seen the tackle again. We'll sit down and like I said it's out of my hands, we can't do anything about it, there was no intent, I apologised after it.
"You don't want to miss any games, I don't want to miss a game for the Bulldogs and I don't want to miss an Origin game."
Hasler expected his back-rower would have a case to answer.
"I think there will be an issue with the tackle and the way it's interpreted these days," Hasler said.
'"We'll have a look at it later but I think the legs went past the horizontal so there's grade one, we'll have to wait and see.
"His record's pretty good Jacko so let's hope grade one will suffice in this instance."
The man on the end of the tackle, Jamie Soward, had some sympathy for Jackson's plight, despite saying he felt "out of control" as the tackle unfolded.
"I couldn't do anything. He's got good technique," Soward said.
"I'm sure the review panel will look at it, but as far as I'm concerned, I don't want him to miss an Origin for it. But it's out of my control."