GEAR UP FOR THE WEEKEND | Round 21 of the #NRL kicks off tonight with the Roosters hosting the Bronc...
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Bulldogs forward Brad Morrin is set to claim provocation from a lifting tackle and head slam when he attempts to get a reduced suspension for biting at the NRL judiciary tonight.
Morrin will throw himself at the mercy of the judiciary when he pleads guilty to biting Parramatta centre Timana Tahu on the bicep last Friday night. He faces a ban of up to 12 weeks, which would rule him out for the rest of 2007.
It is believed the Bulldogs will claim Tahu's heavy handed tackle led Morrin to retaliate by biting the rugby union-bound centre. But Morrin's suggestion that the act was a one-off `brain snap' was dealt a blow last night when video footage appeared to show him attempting to bite Eels lock Chad Robinson earlier in the game.
Meanwhile, South Sydney winger Shannon Hegarty will miss Saturday night's NRL clash against St George Illawarra after pleading guilty to a dangerous throw charge yesterday.
Hegarty was charged after lifting Penrith winger Mark O'Halloran in his side's loss to the Panthers at CUA Stadium. Two other players also took early guilty pleas though the Dragons' Ashton Sims and New Zealand Warriors lock Micheal Luck are both free to play this weekend.
Elsewhere, the NRL has decided to shelve Monday night football for the final round of the competition to offer all clubs an even playing field ahead of the finals.
The final match of the 2007 regular season will now be held at 7pm on Sunday evening, with Melbourne to host newcomers the Gold Coast in a game that could decide both the final eight and the minor premiership. With several teams still in contention for the NRL finals, picking a Monday night fixture was impossible without negatively affecting one club's NRL finals chances.
Fox Sports were happy to accommodate a schedule change to give all eight teams that qualify for the finals equality in their preparation.