Poore cleared to face Raiders - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Poore cleared to face Raiders

12/08/2009 08:23:45 PM Comments (0)

Justin Poore's stunning run with rugby league officialdom continued on Wednesday night when the St George Illawarra front-rower was virtually let off scot free for his dangerous throw tackle on Penrith winger Shane Elford.

Poore's counsel Geoff Bellew SC successfully put forward a case for a downgrade of the grade two charge, following a tackle which forced Elford from the field and left the Panthers veteran with several facial injuries.

The grade one penalty of 120 points was then further reduced by way of Poore's early guilty plea, the final tally of 93 points not enough to stop the NSW State of Origin prop from taking on Canberra on Saturday.

The carry-over points do, however, mean Poore will need to be on his best behaviour for the rest of the season, with even the slightest indiscretion to result in a ban.

"I'm very happy with the hearing I received and I'm very excited to play Canberra this week," was all Poore offered after the hearing, his availability sure to help the Dragons in their bid to secure the NRL minor premiership.

It wasn't all good news for the Dragons, though, with centre Beau Scott rubbed out for one game after being found guilty of a dangerous throw. Scott also left with 80 carry-over points.

Poore had taken a massive punt by appearing before the judiciary, given he would have faced a three-match ban had he failed to convince the panel of Mal Cochrane, Don McKinnon and Brad Clyde the charge deserved to be downgraded.

It is the second time this year Poore has walked away from an ugly incident without punishment, after he picked up and then dropped concussed Queensland prop Steve Price in the final game of this year's Origin series.

Bellew's defence was based on a comparable tackle involving Brisbane front-rower David Taylor, which only received a grade one penalty, and the fact Elford had left the ground before Poore had come into contact with him.

"By pleading guilty (Poore) has accepted he made a substantial contribution, but the attacking player contributed to a large extent," Bellew said.

Judiciary counsel Peter Kite said the tackle only became dangerous when Poore straightened and Elford was put in a vertical position with his head pointing to the ground.

"He's completely helpless at that point," Kite argued.

Scott argued that team-mate Matt Prior was to blame for the tackle which placed Panthers five-eighth Wade Graham in a dangerous position.

Prior on Tuesday pleaded guilty to his role in the tackle and was suspended for one match.

Scott described himself as a passenger in the hit.

"From start to finish Matt Prior had control of the tackle," Scott told the hearing.

Kite claimed by the time Prior had let go of Graham, the Panthers five-eighth was already in a dangerous position, while Bellew argued that Scott was a victim of circumstance.

"If he made a contribution, it certainly wasn't substantial," Bellew said.

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