NRL Suspensions / Citings Round 2

Justin Hodges Cameron Smith Queensland NRLBroncos fire-brand Justin Hodges along with the Bunnies’ Nathan Merritt and Panthers new boy Gavin Cooper have all copped 1 match suspensions for deemed ‘dangerous contact’ from Round 2 NRL clashes.

Hodges as expected quickly submitted an early guilty plea to his grade one grapple tackle on Cameron Smith and will miss Saturday’s big match up against the Warriors as the centre already had carry over points. Hodges probably should consider himself lucky, as his contact with Cameron Smith was extremely forceful and looked much worse than a single week ban.

After an interrupted off-season with personal woes and injury worries to boot, Hodges looked like he was back to old self on the field against the Storm. While proving he still has his eluisve sidestep, he also hasn’t lost his fire-brand attitude – which could run away from him now that Wayne Bennett isn’t there to keep him on the straight and narrow.

Over at Redfern, Nathan Merritt pled guilty and copped a single game ban for his feet first dive at Eels winger Joel Reddy and even with long term good behaviour on his side, he will still be banned from Sunday’s game against the Knights at Bluetongue Stadium – Gosford.

New Panthers recruit Gavin Cooper copped his Grade 2 grapple charge and will sit-out the Panthers’ Monday night game against the Sea Eagles. A frustrating loss for the Panthers here, Cooper has been a shining light in their struggling side. His work ethic has proved good and he has been capable of standing and off-loading in tackles.

New Storm centre Willie Isa has chosen to fight his charge of a Grade 1 grapple and will face the new look NRL judiciary on Wednesday evening.

Cronulla’s week just got worse, with news today that the NRL match review committee has found some problems with Taulapapa and Pomeroy from last nights game against the Knights.

Utility Misi Taulapapa copping aGrade 1 dangerous contact charge for a head slamming and could miss a match if he takes the early plea.

Defensive centre Ben Pomeroy was hit with a Grade 1 careless high tackle charge and has already entered an early guilty plea to escape suspension.

The loss of Taulapapa is something the Sharks just did not need with their side already hammered by injury and suspension at the moment.

The Dragons also had problems, but in the lower grades. With rookie Ken Edwards to face the music over an alleged biting situation in his team’s match against the Gold Coast last Saturday.

His case has been referred, without grading, directly to the judiciary.

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