Mat Rogers to contest NRL tackle grading - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mat Rogers to contest NRL tackle grading

15/04/2008 05:18:22 PM Comments (0)

A contrite Mat Rogers said he never intended hurting Parramatta fullback Luke Burt in a tackle that has cost the Gold Coast pivot a place in Friday's NRL blockbuster against Brisbane.

Rogers has accepted the early guilty plea to a grade two dangerous throw charge but the Titans have elected to contest the grading at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night.

Even if they're successful, dual international Rogers will still miss the top of the table clash with the Broncos.

The 32-year-old said he had apologised to Burt after the Parramatta Stadium match on Friday night.

"It wasn't a deliberate spear, I've never speared anyone in my life," he told reporters after training.

"I've never hurt anyone in a tackle in my life.

"It's my 15th year of being a professional athlete and I've never been suspended.

"Certainly I didn't go out there to try and maim anyone or hurt anyone."

The Titans have called on leading Sydney barrister Geoff Bellew to help defend Rogers, who has been replaced at five-eighth by Ashley Harrison.

Gold Coast managing director Michael Searle said the club contemplated pleading not guilty to the charge, particularly given Rogers' previously clean record.

"The club had considered long and hard to pleading not guilty but because of the potential impact on Mat, the more conservative option was to contest the grading instead," Searle said.

Rogers will be joined at NRL headquarters by Canberra backrower Trevor Thurling, who will fight a grade one lifting tackle stemming from his side's win over Wests Tigers on Sunday.

Thurling had little to lose by challenging the charge as he faced a two-game ban regardless of his plea.

His Raiders teammate Ben Jones accepted the early guilty plea for his role in the same tackle on Tigers hooker Stuart Flanagan, but is free to play Melbourne on Monday night.

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