Johns faces nervous wait - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Johns faces nervous wait

By Brent Read and Daniel Pace 29/06/2003 09:43:14 PM Comments (0)

NSW and Test captain Andrew Johns faces a nervous wait before finding out whether he'll be charged by the National Rugby League judiciary.

Johns was penalised for a high tackle on Parramatta fullback Brett Hodgson in the seventh minute of the Knights' 30-16 victory over the Eels in Newcastle but referee Shayne Hayne did not put the incident on report.

The champion halfback could miss holding up the Origin trophy for the Blues in Brisbane on July 16 if NRL judiciary commissioner Jim Hall opts to charge him.

Johns has 73 carry-over points from a head-slamming offence earlier this season and will be devastated if he joins Knights team-mate Ben Kennedy on the sideline through suspension.

"Who knows what's going to happen when you get charged?" said Johns, who threw his head in the air as if to say 'what have I done?' immediately after the incident.

The Blues are facing a serious shortage of back rowers, with Craig Fitzgibbon to undergo surgery on Monday on a knee injury which will rule him out for three months.

South Sydney captain Bryan Fletcher also remains in doubt with a hamstring injury while one likely replacement, Newcastle second-rower Steve Simpson, also went on report.

Bulldogs forward Willie Mason said he was optimistic of making his Origin debut for NSW after playing for Australia last year.

"If I keep playing some good footy and we keep winning, things can happen," said Mason, who scored a barnstorming 45th minute try in the Bulldogs' 28-26 loss to the third-placed Panthers in front of a record crowd of 22,147 at Penrith Stadium.

Penrith coach John Lang believes the Panthers' victory over a strong Dogs outfit proved his side was a genuine chance to win its first premiership since 1991.

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