Cross banned for six matches for gouging - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cross banned for six matches for gouging

By Steve Jancetic 29/06/2005 11:36:18 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters centre Ryan Cross has been banned for six matches after being found guilty of eye gouging at the NRL judiciary.

The three-man judiciary panel of Mal Cochrane, Royce Ayliffe and Darrell Williams found Cross had intentionally made contact with Parramatta second rower Glenn Morrison's eye while affecting a tackle early in their clash at Aussie Stadium on Friday night.

Cross' clean record saved him from a longer ban, as he became the first player since Mark Geyer in 1997, and the fifth player overall, to be found guilty of eye gouging.

His sentence of six weeks is the lightest ban.

Roosters chief executive Brian Canavan spoke after the hearing as Cross left without making comment.

"Very disappointed with the decision," Canavan said.

"We'll be considering our position overnight and into tomorrow."

Cross was the last of four cases to front the judiciary on Wednesday, with Melbourne second rower Ryan Hoffman banned for two games and Roosters front rower Adrian Morley for three in earlier cases.

NSW backrower Nathan Hindmarsh had his grapple tackle charge thrown out, which frees him to play in Wednesday night's State of Origin decider at Suncorp Stadium.

While there was no disputing from Cross that he made contact with Morrison's eye, it was argued by his legal counsel that it was not deliberate and that there was no intention to injure or intimidate his opponent.

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