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Roosters hooker Ben Marschke.

Young Roosters hooker Ben Marschke is free to face the Storm on Friday night after being found not guilty of a grade-one crusher tackle at the NRL judiciary.

The 23-year-old, who debuted off the bench in round four, was risking a two-game ban by challenging the charge which stemmed from an incident involving Sharks winger Mawene Hiroti last week.

But the panel of Ben Creagh, Sean Garlick and Tony Puletua ruled in Marschke's favour.

The decision would have been a huge relief for Tricolours coach Trent Robinson, who was present at the hearing, with his dummy-half options seemingly thinning by the week.

Jake Friend (medical retirement), Sam Verrills (knee) and most recently Freddy Lussick (fractured arm) are all unavailable.

Every try from Round 5

Marschke's lawyer James McLeod successfully argued that his client "did not use his body forcefully" on Hiroti's head or neck.

He said the hooker showed as much care as possible in the circumstances towards Hiroti, who backed his way into a two-man tackle also involving Victor Radley.

McLeod posited that Radley's weight contributed to Marschke's positioning but the dummy-half then created space for Hiroti's head to come through once Radley eased out of the tackle.

NRL counsel Peter McGrath conceded that Marschke did not show "malice or intent" in his actions but contended that he was careless and could have done more to ensure the safety of his opponent.

Lussick, Te'o headline injury toll from Round 5


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