Zillman to face judiciary on bite charge - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Zillman to face judiciary on bite charge

17/08/2009 07:21:43 PM Comments (0)

It shapes up to be a night of high drama at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday with South Sydney winger Jamie Simpson to come eye to eye with accused biter William Zillman.

Gold Coast fullback Zillman was on Monday charged with dangerous contact/biting, with the case referred straight to the judiciary after Simpson lodged an on-field protest in his side's 22-14 loss to the Titans on Friday night.

Video footage of the incident does not appear to give Zillman much hope of avoiding a ban, but there are suggestions the Titans will claim Zillman was provoked by Souths centre Beau Champion squeezing his testicles during the tackle.

The incident sparked a war of words between rival chief executives Michael Searle (Titans) and Shane Richardson (Rabbitohs), with Searle accusing Richardson of using the incident to divert attention from the Bunnies' failed finals bid.

Match review committee chairman Greg McCullum confirmed Simpson was likely to be called to give his side of the story on Wednesday night, despite the Souths winger having already provided a statement along with a photo and video footage of the alleged bite marks captured by Souths officials at halftime.

"It's likely in these cases that he's required to attend," McCullum said of Simpson.

"We (also) got additional angles to those that were shown on Channel Nine, we received reports from match officials involved in the game as well as a statement from the player.

"All those parcelled together resulted in the charge."

McCullum denied that having the matter referred straight to the judiciary meant Zillman was more likely than not to serve time.

"The fair place for these cases to be sorted out is at the judiciary," he said.

"It's not a matter that it will incur higher points, it's just a matter that I think it's the right place for it to be debated out."

Despite the video footage, Zillman is not without hope of avoiding a ban on Wednesday night, with three of the last four cases to be referred to the judiciary thrown out.

The only player found guilty of biting since 2001 was the Bulldogs' Brad Morrin who received eight weeks for biting Parramatta centre Timana Tahu in 2007.

Footage of Champion's possible `squirrel grip' appeared inconclusive, and it is debatable how much weight provocation would hold with the judiciary panel.

Titans coach John Cartwright said while the match video didn't look the best, there were "a lot of circumstances in the tackle".

"If anyone is bitten they react and there was no reaction.

"I don't think he's got much to worry about.

"I'd never condone biting but I'd like Zilly to be a bit more aggressive.

"He's the sort of guy if he hits someone a bit high, he'll say sorry to them."

North Queensland prop Steve Rapira was charged with making dangerous contact with a kicker but can avoid a ban with an early guilty plea.

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