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Hill suspended for a match

By Darren Walton 30/04/2003 09:57:16 PM Comments (0)

Wests Tigers centre Terry Hill went from victim to villain after Newcastle prop Josh Perry turned from accuser to the accused on a bizarre night at the National Rugby League judiciary.

Hill was suspended for one match for a dangerous throw on Newcastle centre Mark Hughes - less than hour after Hill's evidence led to Perry receiving a one-game ban for "raking or clawing" the veteran centre's face in a lively match at EnergyAustralia Stadium last Saturday night.

Tigers football manager Steve Lavers unsuccessfully argued that Hill had effected a "dominant" tackle in which he didn't lift, but rather pulled, Hughes to the ground.

The former international received 150 demerit points, the same punishment eked out to Perry for roughing up Hill in the spiteful clash in which Newcastle captain Andrew Johns also incurred a two-match suspension and Knights fullback Robbie O'Davis sustained shocking facial injuries.

Johns accepted his fortnight's enforced layoff for a head-slamming tackle on Wests centre Mark O'Halloran, while O'Davis was voicing his disapproval of judiciary commissioner Jim Hall's decision not to charge Tigers winger Robbie Beckett.

Beckett's sickening collision with O'Davis left the Knights fullback needing surgery to mend his palate and nose, which shifted a centimetre across his face upon impact.

While Hill said he was ready to put it all behind him, Knights football manager Mark Sargent said his club would consider appealing after Newcastle's nightmare week continued with Perry's scratching from Saturday night's trip to Melbourne.

Perry, whose last appearance at the judiciary came last season when he unsuccessfully accused St George Illawarra prop Luke Bailey of biting him, was facing an allegation of eye-gouging Hill but was found guilty of the lesser contrary conduct of "raking or clawing".

It could have been much worse, with the 22-year-old arriving at NRL headquarters ready to vigorously defend what Sargent described as a "heinous charge".

It was clear from the outset he had a battle on his hands, with commissioner Hall quickly calling Hill to the witness' seat.

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