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4 days ago
Gold Coast duo Ian Donnelly and Nathan Friend will face the NRL Judiciary tomorrow night in a bid to escape suspension for weekend indiscretions.
Prop Donnelly has pleaded not guilty to a contrary conduct charge for an alleged grapple tackle in last Friday's loss to the Bulldogs and needs to beat the charge to escape a one-game ban. Hooker Friend entered an early guilty plea on a grade three careless high tackle offence but will contest the severity of the grading and will escape suspension if he successfully has it down-graded.
New Zealand Warriors centre Jerome Ropati has pleaded guilty to a grade one lifting charge and escaped a ban.
Manly prop Jack Afamasaga also entered an early guilty plea to a grapple tackle charge and is free to play Parramatta on Sunday. The NRL match review committee are currently seeking additional camera angles from last night's Brisbane and Parramatta clash before finalising their round 19 charges.
Still on Manly, and captain Matt Orford is still suffering from a virus which kept him out of last Friday's win over Cronulla but will play for the Sea Eagles in Sunday's important clash with Parramatta.
Orford was absent from Manly's training session at Narrabeen today but coach Des Hasler expects his halfback to recover from the virus and be fit to play at Parramatta Stadium. Jamie Lyon, Luke Williamson and Steve Menzies were other notable absentees at Eagles training.
Victory over the third-placed Eels on Sunday would almost assure Manly of a top-two finish, granting them an easier path to the Grand Final.
Wests Tigers star Benji Marshall says he has no doubts about the strength of his shoulder as he prepares to make his comeback on Monday night against North Queensland.
Marshall has not played since he dislocated his right shoulder at the start of May and he insists a series of problems with his shoulders has not affected him mentally. The Kiwi international will switch from five-eighth to halfback for his return.
Tigers skipper Brett Hodgson will also make his comeback at Leichhardt Oval on Monday after missing several weeks with a fractured cheekbone.