Dragons' Soward charged but free to play - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dragons' Soward charged but free to play

03/08/2009 06:30:46 PM Comments (0)

The granite chin of Melbourne's Greg Inglis looks to have saved St George Illawarra's Jamie Soward from a spell on the sidelines.

Soward will be free to play against Penrith on Friday night, despite being charged with kicking by the NRL match review committee, if he takes an early guilty plea.

The charge carries a 100-point penalty, although that would be reduced to 75 points with the early plea.

The five-eighth received a grade-one dangerous contact infringement for lashing out with his foot in an attempt to stop Melbourne centre Greg Inglis from scoring a try during the Dragons' 26-12 victory over the Storm on Friday.

The Dragons say they will make a decision whether or not to contest the charge on Tuesday, but it is anticipated they will take the early plea.

NRL match review committee chairman Greg McCallum revealed the grade of the charge against Soward would have been greater had he injured Inglis.

"There was contact with his (Soward's) leg to Inglis' face and obviously any injury or additional force could have led to a higher grading," McCallum told AAP.

There was no action taken against South Sydney prop Luke Stuart, who was mistakenly placed on report for a dangerous tackle on Bulldogs second-rower David Stagg.

The tackle on Stagg, during Sunday's 26-18 win by the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium, was committed by Issac Luke and Ben Lowe.

After studying video of the incident, McCallum said he was confident there was no malicious intent by the Souths pair.

"The reason they weren't charged was that Issac Luke did lift him off the ground but didn't put him into a dangerous position," McCallum said.

"And while Lowe did have some contact with his (Stagg's) face area he did not head-slam him.

"It was just one of those things that happen in a tackle. We were satisfied there was no evidence of a head slam."

There was also no action taken against Brisbane centre Justin Hodges after he was cautioned by referee Jason Robinson for comments made to the official during the Broncos' 56-0 hammering by Canberra.

"We spoke to Robert Finch today as Jason Robinson is on jury duty and Robert had briefed him and he was satisfied with the way he had handled it," McCallum said.

"Jason was satisfied with issuing the caution and we take our lead from referees on that."

McCallum also said that the committee would have taken stronger action against Hodges had the Robinson demanded it.

"If a referee said he felt threatened or felt in hindsight, he should have taken stronger action then we would have investigated it further," he said.

"But the referee was emphatic and we were satisfied it was left on the field."

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