Utai successful at NRL judiciary - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Utai successful at NRL judiciary

By Steve Jancetic 10/08/2005 08:37:29 PM Comments (0)

Bulldogs winger Matt Utai successfully had his high tackle charge downgraded at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night, meaning he will now only miss Friday night's match against Parramatta.

Utai was facing a three-week ban for a grade four careless high tackle on Newcastle utility back Dustin Cooper, but the three-man judiciary panel saw fit to reduce the grading of the charge to a grade three.

Utai received 196 points for the offence which results in a one week ban and 96 carry over points.

Utai's counsel argued that there were mitigating circumstances which caused him to go high on Cooper, such as the change in direction of the attacker and the fact the Knights winger ducked into the tackle on impact.

The result is a big win for the Bulldogs, who are already battling a horrific injury toll heading into the Parramatta Stadium clash against the Eels.

Bulldogs CEO Malcolm Noad said it was a massive bonus for the club to have Utai miss only one match, and was of the opinion it could be a major factor in deciding whether the reigning premiers would be able to sneak into the top eight.

"It was certainly what we asked for and we're very pleased with the result," Noad said.

"We were pretty confident with the evidence we had we would get the result we were hoping for.

"One week against three weeks is a big difference for us."

Premier League winger Filinga Filiga or Luke Young are in line to replace the Kiwi flyer on Friday night.

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