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Cowboys furious as Hayne cleared by NRL

28/07/2008 06:29:08 PM Comments (0)

Furious North Queensland coach Ian Millward has slammed the NRL's decision to let Parramatta's Jarryd Hayne off for stomping as "totally unbelievable".

Hayne was reported for the ugly incident in Friday's 16-4 win that left Cowboys forward Dayne Weston needing five stitches to his head.

The NRL match review committee looked at the incident but found there were no grounds to charge Hayne with stomping.

Millward, who bit his tongue over the incident after Friday's match, was furious when told Hayne had been let off.

"The coaching staff and the players of the North Queensland Cowboys know fully what happened and why it happened and to get away with that is just totally unbelievable," Millward told AAP.

"I ask the question, why Luke O'Donnell didn't get that same sort of consideration," he added of the Cowboys forward who was controversially banned seven weeks for striking in round 12.

"I'm just quite stunned when you look where (Hayne's) eyes are looking and he's looking at his boot for some reason."

Reports this week suggested the incident was a result of Hayne's feud with Weston over a girlfriend, with Weston reportedly heard telling Hayne to "leave the personal stuff off the field."

Millward would not comment on that but said his players had been let down by the judicial system.

"The players know what happened and I suppose they're quite disappointed that they haven't been able to be protected but that's something we don't have a control over," Millward said.

"I'm just glad he didn't lose his eye sight."

NRL match review committee chairman Greg McCallum said the committee found Hayne's actions to be accidental.

"The match review committee was of the opinion that after he completed the tackle, Hayne got to his feet and was attempting to step back from the player," McCallum said.

"The player Weston then grabbed his leg quite forcefully and pulled it towards him, causing Hayne to lose balance and his foot came into contact with the upper part of his face."

McCallum said Hayne was clearly off balance and looking away when his foot made contact with Weston's head.

"We felt that is was accidental and to be charged with stomping or any other striking action it has to be highly reckless or intentional," McCallum said.

Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen also escaped a charge for the second week in a row despite being placed on report for a high shot that left Brisbane back-rower David Stagg concussed in Friday's loss to the Sharks.

McCallum said the panel found Stagg had dropped significantly into tackle, and that Gallen's action were not careless.

Gold Coast were not as fortunate, with three players charged with dangerous throws from Saturday's 46-4 loss to Canberra.

Forwards Michael Henderson and Matthew Cross are set to miss at least two weeks after they were both charged with dangerous throws.

NSW Origin back-rower Anthony Laffranchi also received a dangerous throw charge but can escape suspension with an early guilty plea.

South Sydney prop David Fa'alogo was charged with striking in the Rabbitohs' 39-12 loss to Newcastle on Sunday and faces a two-match ban.

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