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Penrith five-eighth James Maloney  is free to play against Wests Tigers on Friday at Suncorp Stadium in the NRL’s Magic Round.

Maloney pleaded not guilty before the NRL judiciary panel of Dallas Johnson, Sean Garlick and Mal Cochrane to a dangerous contact charge on Canberra back-rower John Bateman in last weekend’s match in Wagga Wagga.

And in a one-hour hearing at the NRL’s Moore Park headquarters on Tuesday night, Maloney was cleared of applying unnecessary pressure on Bateman’s right arm.

In the same match, Maloney pleaded guilty to a separate dangerous throw charge on Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson. The points from the two offences would have forced him out of Friday’s game.

Coach Ivan Cleary named Jarome Luai as 18th man on Tuesday in case Maloney was found guilty.

“Happy with the outcome… just got to go through the process obviously but happy we got a fair hearing and we got the right result,” Maloney said.

“I was a little surprised when the charge actually came so nice to have it cleared up.”

He said he didn’t feel nervous watching all the video replays of the tackle.

“I was pretty confident I hadn’t done anything wrong, and as I said a little surprised at the start getting the charge.”

Wests Tigers v Panthers - Magic Round

Maloney is now free to try to help the Panthers improve their disappointing 2-6 start to the 2019 Telstra Premiership season. He will now have the full complement of three matches to show NSW coach Brad Fittler he should hold onto his Blues jumper.

The 32-year-old No.6 was one of four Penrith players, who took part in the tackle. The others were James Fisher-Harris, Viliame Kikau and Waqa Blake.

Maloney’s counsel Nick Ghabar claimed the fact Bateman struggled so strongly in the tackle “in some ways contributed to the outcome”.

Ghabar also maintained there was no twisting of Bateman’s arm and that on-field officials didn’t deem the contact worthy of a penalty.

“Simply hanging on the arm is not enough to prove forceful, unnecessary, dangerous pressure,” Ghabar said.

Ghabar said that if Bateman’s arm had been hurt during the tackle, there was little evidence of it in the aftermath as the 25-year-old Raider pushed  Maloney back “three times forcibly”.

Maloney said the upper arm was the only part of Bateman’s body he could get a grip on.

“Ideally I wanted to take him to ground and affect the tackle. But I’ve almost lost him so I keep grabbing onto his arm,” he said, adding that he released as soon as the referee called “held”.

NRL prosecutor Peter McGrath suggested it was a wrestling technique, and not a chicken-wing tackle, but it put Bateman’s arm in an awkward position and could have led to a hyper-extension of the elbow.

McGrath said the reaction on Bateman’s face proved his arm was placed in a dangerous position.

Maloney's team-mate Liam Martin won't be in Brisbane after he pleaded guilty earlier in the week to a dangerous throw charge from the same game.

The four players charged following Sunday's matches all entered early guilty pleas.

Warriors forward Adam Blair will miss his side's Magic Round clash with the Dragons while Kalyn Ponga (who was fined), Lachlan Burr and Tepai Moeroa all fell short of suspension.

There were no charges from the Thursday and Friday matches which started round eight.

 

Player James Maloney
Club Panthers
Time minute of match 11th
Charge/incident Dangerous contact - other
Charge grade 1
Result - Guilty or Not Guilty Not Guilty at panel
Misconduct on whom? John Bateman

 

Player James Maloney
Club Panthers
Time Minute of Match 54th
Charge/Incident  Dangerous throw
Charge Grade 1
Result - Guilty or Not Guilty Guilty - Early Plea
Matches to serve 0
Points/Fine Calculation 75
Carry-Over Points 75
Misconduct on whom? Josh Hodgson

 

Player Liam Martin
Club Panthers
Time Minute of Match 54th
Charge/Incident  Dangerous throw
Charge Grade 1
Result - Guilty or Not Guilty Guilty - Early Plea
Matches to serve 1
Points/Fine Calculation 112+35 = 147
Carry-Over Points 47
Misconduct on whom? Josh Hodgson

 

Player Ben Matulino
Club Wests Tigers
Time Minute of Match 18th
Charge/Incident  Dangerous contact - other
Charge Grade 1
Result - Guilty or Not Guilty Guilty - Early Plea
Matches to serve 0
Points/Fine Calculation 75
Carry-Over Points 75
Misconduct on whom? Joseph Manu

 

Player Lachlan Burr
Club Warriors
Time Minute of Match 5th
Charge/Incident  Dangerous throw
Charge Grade 1
Result - Guilty or Not Guilty Guilty - Early Plea
Matches to serve 0
Points/Fine Calculation 75
Carry-Over Points 75
Misconduct on whom? David Klemmer

 

Player Kalyn Ponga
Club Knights
Time Minute of Match 11th
Charge/Incident  Tripping
Charge Grade 1
Result - Guilty or Not Guilty Guilty - Early Plea
Matches to serve 0
Points/Fine Calculation $1150
Carry-Over Points N/A
Misconduct on whom? Chanel Harris-Tavita

 

Player Adam Blair
Club Warriors
Time Minute of Match 28th
Charge/Incident  Dangerous throw
Charge Grade 1
Result - Guilty or Not Guilty Guilty - Early Plea
Matches to serve 1
Points/Fine Calculation 105+2=107
Carry-Over Points 7
Misconduct on whom? Hymel Hunt

 

Player Tepai Moeroa
Club Eels
Time Minute of Match 12th
Charge/Incident  Dangerous contact - other
Charge Grade 1
Result - Guilty or Not Guilty Guilty - Early Plea
Matches to serve 0
Points/Fine Calculation 90+5=95
Carry-Over Points 95
Misconduct on whom? Corey Norman