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Simpson unlikely to be charged

By Daniel Pace 18/07/2009 12:35:58 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney's Jamie Simpson is likely to escape punishment despite coming into contact with referee Tony De Las Heras at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

Simpson had made a bust in the 66th minute of the Rabbitohs' 44-12 victory over struggling Brisbane and he ran straight into the path of the whistleblower.

The winger put out his hand to avoid a collision but bowled over De Las Heras, who was then knocked unconscious after Brisbane forward Tonie Carroll's knee smashed him in the head in a sickening blow.

De Las Heras was taken to hospital for precautionary scans and was released on Friday night.

He flew back to Sydney on Saturday suffering a headache and may be rested for next weekend's round-20 NRL matches.

NRL match review committee chairman Greg McCallum said the unfortunate incident would be scrutinised on Monday but it was doubtful whether any action would be taken.

"To charge a player with contrary conduct for running into a referee, it would have to be deliberate and I think people that saw it last night would agree it was probably an accident," McCallum, a former top grade referee, told AAP.

"I've been knocked over a few times (as a referee) and you know yourself when it's an accident and you know when there's malicious play involved.

"But we owe it to the referee and the player to look at it."

McCallum said a heavy blow like the one De Las Heras suffered could damage a referee's confidence.

"The times I know I got hit, it does shake your confidence and you become very conscious of where you are on the field," he said.

"I ended up with a long-term neck issue. David Gillespie got me one day down in Canberra.

"I know why they call him `Cement' now."

Referees' boss Robert Finch said it was the worst knock to a whistleblower he had ever seen.

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