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Lillyman banned for two NRL matches

30/04/2008 07:46:47 PM Comments (0)

North Queensland forward Jacob Lillyman has been found guilty of a grade one dangerous throw charge by the NRL Judiciary and banned for two games.

Lillyman pleaded not guilty to the lifting tackle on Melbourne forward Michael Crocker but was unable to beat the charge at the judiciary and will miss the Cowboys' clashes with South Sydney and Cronulla.

It is a huge blow to North Queensland as the club was already without star forwards Luke O'Donnell, Sione Faumuina, Shane Tronc and Matt Scott through injury.

It could also affect Lillyman's State of Origin chances as he won't get another chance to play before the Queensland team is named on May 12.

Ben Vaeau is expected to take Lillyman's place in the side to play the Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

Cowboys general manager of football Dean Lance said the club was disappointed with the outcome, but the two-week spell would give Lillyman a chance to overcome niggling injuries and return refreshed from the break.

"You don't come down here unless you have a fair degree of confidence you have a good case to show," said Lance.

"It's disappointing but you get on with life.

"It's another good test for our depth in the forwards. They stood up last year and there's no reason why they can't stand up this year against the odds.

"He can get over his niggling injuries, fix himself up and return fresh and ready to go."

Lillyman played in both the Maroons winning Origin games last year before injury ruled him out of the final loss to NSW.

While he is likely to gain a recall when the squad is announced, Lance said the 24-year-old backrower was only focussed on helping the Cowboys climb back into the NRL top eight.

"Certainly State of Origin is the last thing on his mind at the moment," said Lance.

"He is just keen to play for the Cowboys and put his best foot forward for the club."

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