Two NRL Stars Face Stomping Charges
Two of the NRL’s biggest names have been charged with stomping on an opponent following the weekend’s matches.
Canberra Fullback Josh Dugan was placed on report after he stepped on the head of Newcastle hooker Matt Hilder, while Sharks Captain Paul Gallen was also cited after he kicked at Titans half Beau Henry during the first half of his side’s loss to the bottom of the ladder Titans.
“He had a hold of my leg and I was just pumping trying to kick out and get him to let go,” Gallen said.
“It was just bad timing – I definitely didn’t mean to kick him. I actually thought he was going to blow the penalty in my favour. He had hold of my leg when I was just trying to get a quick play the ball.
“It might have looked bad, but there was definitely no intention to kick him. I was just trying to get my leg out of the tackle.”
Gallen lashed out on the field calling rookie referee David Munro’s decision to report him ‘a joke’ while following the match, Sharks coach Shane Flanagan said he was ‘dumbfounded’.
It was a dirty night for the Sharks all round. Not only is there inspirational skipper at risk of missing games through suspension, but they also became the first team to lose to the Titans since round 14. To make matters worse a poor crowd of just 6313 fans attended the match, which was the Sharks second lowest for the season.
Raiders fullback Josh Dugan also faces a nervous wait after he was charged with stomping on the head of Knights hooker Matt Hilder.
Hilder was forced to leave the field in the 65th minute of the match after the full weight of Dugan came crashing down on his head after he completed a tackle on the Raiders custodian.
Following the match, Raiders coach David Furner said he expected his star fullback to be available for the Raiders next week.
“He was looking straight ahead and he was trying to get a quick play the ball. The referees dealt with it.” Furner said.
Newcastle coach Rick Stone wasn’t so sure the incident deserved to escape a reprimand from the judiciary.
“That’s a tough one. I think it was a stomping situation and obviously the referee deemed it bad enough to be placed on report.” Stone said.
While Gallen and Dugan will get most of the attention leading into their respective judiciary hearings, there were a number of players that went down injured in the weekend’s action.
The Tigers Chris Lawrence will miss another three weeks after suffering a hamstring injury, while the season appears to be over for Titans captain Scott Prince who suffered a suspected fractured arm against the Sharks.
Manly prop Jason King is also in danger of missing the remainder of the season after tearing a pectoral muscle against the Roosters.