Bunnies and New Zealand rake Isaac Luke will now sit out this weeks Test against Australia after being handed a one-match suspension at the NRL judiciary earlier this evening. Fighting a grade-one striking charge, Issac Luke was up against it – after he led with his elbow, hitting Anthony Laffranchi while running the ball up during last weekends game against the Gold Coast.
With two previous offences in the past 2 seasons, Luke faced a 1 game ban either way; if he issued an early guilty plea or contested the charge and lost.
The Kiwis have already brought Wests Tigers hooker Dene Halatau into their squad to cover for Luke.
The loss of the uptempo hooker is a big one for New Zealand. Lightning fast around the ruck, a good defender and someone who has a gritty nature – Luke has spelt trouble for the Australians in recent games.
The Australian side remain favourites despite losing the recent Rugby League World Cup. Bookies have the Kangaroos at around the $1.35 mark and the Kiwis at around $3.50
At the time of the World Cup Final, the Aussies were $1.10 favourites and the Kiwis longshots at $6+ outsiders.