19 hours ago
Woolford May Contest Charge
Canberra will make a decision Tuesday morning on whether to contest a high tackle charge levelled against captain Simon Woolford that could see him miss three National Rugby League matches.
The NRL judiciary on Monday charged Woolford with a grade three offence for his hit on Manly five-eighth Luke Williamson in the Raiders' 51-16 victory at Brookvale Oval on Sunday.
The hooker has 56 carry-over points and will miss Canberra's home matches against North Queensland on Saturday night and Newcastle the following week if he takes the early guilty plea.
Woolford risks copping a three-match suspension if he unsuccessfully fights the charge at the judiciary on Wednesday night.
Woolford was sent off for his eighth minute high shot on Williamson, who lay on the ground for six minutes before leaving the field with concussion.
"I've already missed a game I shouldn't have missed on the weekend - I shouldn't have been sent off for it," said Woolford.
"It's a bit disappointing to probably miss another two."
Canberra coach Matthew Elliott said the second-placed Raiders would review similar incidents from other matches before deciding whether to fight the charge.
South Sydney boss David Tapp on Monday night said skipper Bryan Fletcher would accept an early plea to a grade two careless high tackle charge and cop a two-week suspension.
The test forward will miss matches against defending premiers the Sydney Roosters and North Queensland.
"It'd be nice to get him back for our last game against Cronulla (in round 25 at Aussie Stadium)," said Tapp about Fletcher, who will get the chance to rest niggling knee and back injuries.
Fletcher was reported for a 59th minute high tackle on Wests Tigers forward Trent Clayton in the Rabbitohs' 18-16 victory at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday night.
Unlike Woolford, Fletcher remained on the field and later scored the match-winning try for his side.
Only two players - Woolford and Cronulla's Paul Gallen - have been sent off this season but referees' boss Robert Finch said each incident should be judged on its merits.
"It's up to the discretion of the referee as to whether they place a player on report or send them off and that's been the case for a long time," Finch said.
"If they send a player off, they've got to have good reasons in their own mind as to why they sent them off."
Fletcher's teammate Jason Death and North Queensland prop Paul Rauhihi can both escape suspension if they enter early guilty pleas to grade one careless high tackle charges.
Death was charged following a 73rd minute high shot on Wests centre Mark O'Halloran while Rauhihi landed in hot water for his tackle on Newcastle forward Ben Kennedy in the Knights' 60-24 demolition of the Cowboys in Townsville on Saturday night.