NSW's Waterhouse cleared by judiciary - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NSW's Waterhouse cleared by judiciary

By Ed Jackson 16/07/2009 08:10:08 PM Comments (0)

Penrith backrower Trent Waterhouse has escaped a suspension on a contrary-conduct charge from the fiery State of Origin finale.

Waterhouse was charged after he became the first NSW player to be sent off in an Origin following an incident with Queensland veteran Steve Price in the Blues' 28-16 win at Suncorp Stadium.

Facing a one-game ban, Waterhouse successfully pleaded his case to the NRL judiciary who found him not guilty of the charge and cleared him to play in the Panthers' game against Canberra on Saturday.

Waterhouse claimed he had merely been trying to break up a fight between Price and Blues prop Brett White when he tackled the Warriors skipper.

A punch from White had knocked out Price an instant before Waterhouse's contact, making the incident look worse than it was.

"You could see on the tape that there was never any malice and I intended to break it up but I think they might have thought I knocked him out," Waterhouse said after the hearing on Thursday.

"You can see on the tape that it clearly wasn't me, it was a punch. Very happy and looking forward to the game on Saturday."

Waterhouse claimed he had been surprised to receive his marching orders and said the fiery clashes between the teams at the end of the match were just part of Origin football.

"I think they thought that I'd headslammed him, I think the referee might have thought that and that's why I got sent off," he said.

"I was quite shocked to get sent to tell you the truth. That's Origin mate, it's tough and it's rough and the crowd love it."

Waterhouse's verdict means no player was suspended from Wednesday's match, with North Queensland's Johnathan Thurston taking an early plea on his dangerous contact charge to avoid any penalty.

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