Wiki beats eight-game NRL suspension - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wiki beats eight-game NRL suspension

By James Dampney 07/06/2006 09:15:22 PM Comments (0)

New Zealand Warriors prop Ruben Wiki is an extremely happy man after beating an eight-week ban at the NRL judiciary.

The Kiwi Test skipper became the first player this season to mount a successful challenge at the judiciary and will be free to take on the Sydney Roosters at Aussie Stadium on Sunday after beating the grade five charge of kneeing Brisbane's Corey Parker.

Origin hopeful Billy Slater's wretched recent run at the judiciary continued after the Storm fullback was suspended for another two matches for a dangerous tackle.

But Wiki and the Warriors were the big winners in a dramatic night at the judiciary, with the forward's kneeing charge from last Sunday's loss to the Broncos quickly thrown out.

"It's an awesome result. We had a fair hearing and I'm happy with the result," said Wiki.

His legal team fought the charge on two fronts - that three similar events, including two this season, had incurred more lenient penalties, and that the charge of dropping knees wasn't accurate because Wiki had slid into the tackle.

The judiciary panel agreed.

"Looking at all the footage we were confident we'd covered all angles and I get to play some footy," Wiki said.

The New Zealand international has a long history with the judiciary, drawing his 12th charge in a 13-year career.

He has twice been found not guilty, but has faced a total of 22 weeks on the sideline.

The veteran admitted a lengthy ban would've been a "kick in the backside" as his career winds down, but he had a humorous explanation for being one of the few players to beat the judiciary.

"Probably because of the trip, I live the furthest," he said.

Slater pleaded not guilty to a grade one dangerous throw on the Roosters' Ryan Cross during Saturday night's 20-16 victory, but the judiciary panel handed down a guilty verdict and outed him for two games.

The 22-year-old had only just returned from a seven-match suspension for kicking West Tigers prop John Skandalis, coming off the bench to play 25 minutes against the Roosters.

Slater didn't speak during the one-hour hearing or after the verdict, but Storm football manager Dean Lance admitted a recall for the Maroons side for Origin II had been on the fullback's mind.

"You never know. If he was available this weekend, you never know," Lance said.

"But I don't know too much about the Origin selection committees.

"It's awfully tough to win a case but we'll keep trying when we believe we have a good case to put forward."

The low grading of Slater's charge meant he could've escaped suspension if he had a better record, but the kicking charge and last year's one-week suspension for head slamming meant he had enough carry-over points for a two-game ban.

Slater is now armed with a further 63 carry-over points and will miss games against Parramatta and Canberra.

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