Preview of tonight's Challenge Cup... LeagueUnlimited.com - NRL & Rugby League A View From The Hill ...
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We go around the grounds on Monday afternoon to wrap up all the big news out of the weekend's NRL... and more.
The NRL judiciary has issued a Grade 2 Contrary Conduct Charge to Cowboys, Maroons and Australian halfback Johnathon Thurston today after a 23rd minute incident during the North Queensland side's 30-10 victory over the Warriors on Saturday evening. Thurston was chasing in defence when he collided with and knocked referee Matt Cecchin to the ground, as the Warriors scored their first points of the night.
The 202 points resulting from the charge will see the Queensland representative miss not only this Sunday's Round 16 clash against Penrith, but the third and final State of Origin match in Brisbane on Wednesday July 6th. Thurston will need to contest the charge and/or its grading to avoid suspension. An early guilty plea or failed contesting at the judiciary will see him sit both matches out, in a huge blow for the deciding Origin clash. He is currently leading the NRL's coveted Dally M medal count and is likely to lose 3 points per week suspended, which may impact his ability to hold that lead.
Thurston is also suffering an ankle complaint at present and the Cowboys are set to confirm the results of scans in the next 12 to 24 hours.
In other Judiciary news, Thurston's teammate at the Cowboys, Tariq Sims, is set to miss one week from a Grade 1 Dangerous Contact charge, while Melbourne's Sika Manu will escape suspension despite a Grade 1 Dangerous Contact charge following a "Crusher" tackle on Tigers' forward Gareth Ellis.
ELLIOTT STEPS ASIDE
It was always coming, but after the Panthers failed to deliver against an uninspiring Knights side again on Saturday evening, both head coach Matt Elliott and assistant coach, Rabbitohs-bound Wayne Collins, have stepped aside for the rest of 2011. Steve Georgallis has assumed the role of interim head coach of the Penrith side for the remainder of 2011 as Football Manager Phil Gould continues the task of assigning Elliott's replacement for the 2012 season.
Penrith will look to turn their season around when they face the North Queensland Cowboys this Sunday at Centrebet Stadium, where Georgallis will take the reins for the first time.
Brisbane Broncos pair Andrew McCullough and Ben Hunt have ensured Brisbane's depth is to be tested once again - the pair were charged by Queensland Police with public nuisance at the weekend following the Broncos' 21-14 win over St George Illawarra.
The Broncos will travel to Perth this week as they face the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the opening night of the "Harvey Norman Women in League Round" this Friday.
MANLY GO PINK
Speaking of "Harvey Norman Women in League Round", the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles will be donning their special pink jersey a week early tonight, when they host Parramatta at Brookvale Oval. The predominantly white strip would clash with next week's opponents St George Illawarra, who will be sporting a "Pink Vee". We'll bring you all the teams for Women in League Round 16 tomorrow as they become available.
You can follow the action from tonight's final match of Round 15 via our LIVE score update service - simply click here to follow the Sea Eagles v Eels from 7pm tonight.
We will also be providing live tweets on both NYC and NRL tonight via our Twitter account at @LeagueUnlimited, and you can follow what other fans are saying about the game both in our forums and using the hashtag #nrlmanpar on Twitter!
PANTHERS CHANGE STADIUM NAME
Naming rights partner of Penrith's home ground, Centrebet, have forgone their naming rights for this Sunday's Panthers v Cowboys clash, with the Penrith club partnering with the McGrath Foundation. This week the venue will be known as McGrath Foundation Stadium Penrith.
Centrebet Australian Country Manager Mitchell Parkins is more than happy to lend a hand to the Foundation as the NRL celebrates "Women in League" this weekend:
"This is our second year supporting the cause, this year we're delighted to give the naming rights of Centrebet Stadium to the McGrath Foundation and we hope the Panthers can get the victory at McGrath Foundation Stadium Penrith to further motivate both teams", he said.
Centrebet will also donate $100 per point scored in the game to the McGrath Foundation.