Canberra furious at Woolford 8-game ban - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Canberra furious at Woolford 8-game ban

By Laine Clark 13/07/2005 08:50:17 PM Comments (0)

An "extremely disappointed" Canberra general manager Don Furner says the club will seek leave to appeal an eight week ban handed down to skipper Simon Woolford by the NRL judiciary.

In a crushing blow to the Raiders' finals hopes, the Canberra hooker was ousted for the rest of the regular season after being found guilty of a grade two dangerous throw on Melbourne fullback Billy Slater in last round's 20-0 loss to the Storm.

The grade two charge carried an initial ban of three matches but due to Woolford's abysmal record which included six prior offences, the suspension blew out to six games with an early plea and eight if he contested it and lost.

Woolford pleaded guilty but hoped to have the charge reduced to a grade one dangerous throw - which meant a three week ban.

Despite being armed with a letter of support from his victim Slater and more evidence from the Melbourne fullback via the phone, Woolford was ousted for two months - a ban Furner said could "end our season".

"We are extremely disappointed. We will speak to a barrister tomorrow and seek leave to appeal that because we just cannot believe that is an eight week penalty," Furner said.

"We just can't believe that what he did is worth an eight week suspension - that's a third of the season.

"It could end our season so we have to protect that. When (Canberra coach) Matty (Elliott) gets back tomorrow we will speak to Simon and I would say we are 99 per cent sure that we will seek leave to appeal."

Furner said the Raiders had arrived at the judiciary "very confident" of having the charge downgraded.

"Absolutely. If it was a grade one okay maybe we could have copped that on the chin," he said.

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