Cowboys prop Matt Scott.

Scott guilty at judiciary, Graham free to play Bunnies

North Queensland co-captain Matt Scott has been found guilty of a shoulder charge by the NRL judiciary and will miss the Cowboys' clash with Manly on Thursday but Cronulla's Wade Graham is free to play the Rabbitohs after being found not guilty.

Graham successfully challenged his one-match suspension for making dangerous contact to the head/neck of Knights fullback Kalyn Ponga last Sunday but Scott was unable to overturn his one-match ban for a shoulder charge on Melbourne's Young Tonumaipea.

Under the rules of the NRL, even though Scott misses Thursday night's game, he cannot be called into the Queensland Origin team for the June 6 game even if a Maroons forward is injured in the lead-up.

Scott and his coach Paul Green both addressed the judiciary, made up of chairman Geoff Bellew and former players Mal Cochrane, Sean Garlick and Dallas Johnson.

Scott maintained Tonumaipea was looking at Cowboys prop Scott Bolton but then changed direction suddenly by stepping off his left foot. That caused Scott to also react.

"Because of that stumble and the attacker's change of direction I was concerned about a head clash. So what I am doing is trying to turn away from him," Scott said.

NRL counsel Peter McGrath suggested there was no attempt by Scott to wrap his right arm around Tonumaipea until later in the tackle.

"You started to tuck your right arm up just before contact," McGrath said.

Scott denied the accusation.

"I'm always attempting to wrap my arm throughout the whole tackle," he said. "The time I thought I had was greatly reduced by his change of direction. At all times I'm attempting to use both arms in the tackle."

Later Scott said he felt hard done by with the judiciary decision.

"It's disappointing. I thought I had a pretty good argument," Scott said. "I've seen a lot of tackles recently that were a lot more dangerous and resulted in injury.

"So it's quite frustrating to be given a week for what, in my opinion, was a pretty innocuous tackle. I thought I did as much as I could to make that situation not dangerous."

In stark contrast, Graham was delighted to be able to face the in-form Rabbitohs.

"Obviously I've missed plenty of footy at the start of the year [hamstring injury], which hasn't been ideal for me. So to be able to play this weekend is certainly a bonus," Graham said.

Sharks co-captain Wade Graham.
Sharks co-captain Wade Graham. ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos

"It's always tough coming here but I'm glad we did as I thought we had a good case. There was a stage there we thought about taking the early guilty plea."

Graham told the four-man judiciary panel his right arm became stuck underneath Ponga's chin and he felt the tackle was "becoming awkward".

Teammate Matt Moylan then joined in and grabbed hold of Ponga's jersey pulling the Knights player backwards.

"My arm was stuck but I told Matt, 'Watch his head; watch his head'," Graham said in evidence.

"Instead of falling on top of him [Ponga] I tried to take my weight out of the tackle by pulling him towards the sideline, and going down on my left knee.

"I pulled my right arm out at the first opportunity. You can see how high my arm comes out. And I recall he said to me, 'Thanks mate'."

Judiciary chairman Geoff Bellew, QC, reminded the panel that Ponga was not present to give evidence.

"So he cannot be questioned about what he allegedly said," Bellew added. "Therefore you are to give that evidence little, or no, consideration."

Knights forward Herman Ese'ese received a one-match ban for making dangerous contact on Sharks half Chad Townsend, while Storm prop Sam Kasiano and Penrith's Jack Hetherington also received one-match suspensions for dangerous contact charges.

 

Player  Herman Ese'ese 
Club  Knights 
Minute of match  2nd 
Charge/incident  Dangerous contact - other 
Charge grade
Result Guilty - early plea
Matches to serve 1
Points/fine calculation 112+20=132
Carryover points  32
Misconduct on whom?  Chad Townsend 

 

Player  Luke Lewis 
Club  Sharks 
Minute of match  21st 
Charge/incident  Dangerous contact - head/neck 
Charge grade 
Result Guilty - early plea
Matches to serve 0
Points/fine calculation 75 
Carryover points  75
Misconduct on whom?  Kalyn Ponga 

 

Player Nathan Ross 
Club Knights 
Minute of match  38th 
Charge/incident  Tripping 
Charge grade
Result Guilty - early plea
Matches to serve 0
Points/fine calculation $1100 
Carryover points  N/A
Misconduct on whom?  Jesse Ramien 

 

Player  Wade Graham 
Club  Sharks 
Minute of match  57th 
Charge/incident Dangerous contact - head/neck 
Charge grade
Result Not guilty
Matches to serve 0
Points/fine calculation  
Carryover points  
Misconduct on whom?  Kalyn Ponga 

 

 
Player  Keegan Hipgrave
Club   Titans
Minute of match   19th 
Charge/incident  High tackle - careless
Charge grade
Result Guilty - early plea
Matches to serve $1500 
Points/fine calculation Early plea: $1550 
Carryover points  N/A 
Misconduct on whom?  James Tedesco

 

Player  Thomas Burgess
Club  Rabbitohs
Minute of match  25th 
Charge/incident  Tripping
Charge grade 
Result Guilty - early plea
Matches to serve $1500 
Points/fine calculation Early plea: $1650 
Carryover points N/A 
Misconduct on whom?  Solomone Kata

 

Player  Jack Hetherington
Club   Panthers
Minute of match   57th 
Charge/incident  Dangerous contact - other 
Charge grade
Result Guilty - early plea
Matches to serve
Points/fine calculation
Carryover points 30 
Misconduct on whom?  Paul Vaughan

 

Player  Blake Lawrie
Club  Dragons
Minute of match  64th 
Charge/incident  Dangerous contact - other
Charge grade 
Result Guilty - early plea
Matches to serve
Points/fine calculation 75
Carryover points 75
Misconduct on whom?  James Maloney

 

Player  Mitchell Moses 
Club  Eels 
Minute of match  14th 
Charge/incident  High tackle - careless 
Charge grade 
Result  Guilty - early plea 
Matches to serve 
Points/fine calculation  $1100 
Carryover points  N/A 
Misconduct on whom?  Jordan Kahu 

 

Player Matthew Lodge
Club Broncos  
Minute of match 74th 
Charge/incident  High tackle - careless 
Charge grade 
Result  Guilty - early plea 
Matches to serve 
Points/fine calculation  $1350 
Carryover points  N/A 
Misconduct on whom? Peni Terepo 

 

Player  Matt Scott 
Club Cowboys 
Minute of match  11th 
Charge/incident Shoulder charge 
Charge grade 
Result  Guilty 
Matches to serve 
Points/fine calculation  150
Carryover points 50
Misconduct on whom?  Young Tonumaipea 

 

Player  Sam Kasiano 
Club Storm 
Minute of match  39th 
Charge/incident Dangerous contact - other 
Charge grade
Result  Guilty - early plea 
Matches to serve 
Points/fine calculation  105+12=117 
Carryover points 17 
Misconduct on whom?  Johnathan Thurston