Newton out for 12 games - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Newton out for 12 games

25/08/2004 08:29:45 PM Comments (0)

Newcastle forward Clint Newton was suspended for 12 matches by the NRL judiciary for an ungraded striking charge.

Newton, 23, pleaded guilty to the striking charge stemming from a last round hit on St George Illawarra prop Ashton Sims.

But his legal representative Grant Butterfield argued in a 90 minute hearing that it was a shoulder charge gone horribly wrong.

However, the judiciary panel of Mark Coyne, Darrell Williams and Mal Cochrane still slapped Newton with a heavy ban that exceeded the nine week suspension recommended by NRL prosecutor Peter Kite.

Newton gave evidence that he closed his eyes to brace himself for the hit on Sims who he described as "one of the quicker front rowers that I have seen".

Newton said he didn't know what had happened until he saw the video replay on the big screen.

"Obviously I won't be attempting to shoulder charge anymore. The results, although unintentional, can be what you saw," he said.

Newton told the judiciary panel when he apologised to Sims after the game, the Dragons forward said: "Sweet mate, don't worry about it. You didn't do it on purpose, it's not your game, I accept your apology".

Butterfield - who argued for a three week sentence - compared the Newton incident to a 2004 hit from Dragons' David Howell on Brisbane fullback Karmichael Hunt which resulted in a grade four striking charge and a three week ban.

Butterfield emphasised Newton's good character, unblemished record and his contrition for the ugly incident.

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