Eels' Hayne to pay for past indiscretion - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eels' Hayne to pay for past indiscretion

By Steve Jancetic 18/04/2011 06:30:55 PM Comments (0)

Jarryd Hayne's past has come back to haunt him, with an indiscretion more than 18 months ago set to prolong the Parramatta's early season NRL misery.

Hayne was on Monday charged with a grade two striking charge for a headbutt on Canterbury forward Corey Payne, a charge which carries a two-game suspension with an early guilty plea or an unsuccessful trip to the judiciary.

The Eels have engaged the services of Geoff Bellew - who helped Hayne escape a headbutt charge on Melbourne rival Billy Slater last year - with a decision on a plea to be made on Tuesday.

Hayne could have escaped a one game ban with an early guilty plea had he not attracted loading from an offence in late 2009, when he attacked Bulldogs winger Bryson Goodwin with his knees in the preliminary final.

At the time Hayne took an early guilty plea to ensure his availability for the 2009 grand final, but it now threatens to double his suspension.

Losing Hayne - who was at his brilliant best in the 26 minutes leading up to the incident - is the last thing the Eels need, having won just two of their opening six matches.

A two-game ban would also leave Hayne with no more opportunities to impress Test selectors ahead of the naming of the Australian side to meet New Zealand in the May 6 clash on the Gold Coast.

Bellew was poring over video footage of the incident on Monday, with challenging for a downgrade Hayne's most likely avenue for appeal.

"I can't say what we'll do at this stage," Osborne said.

"I spoke to (Bellew) yesterday but he's only having a look at it now."

There is little doubt the Eels will use provocation as a defence, with Payne slapped with a grade three careless high tackle charge over the high shot which instigated the altercation.

Referees boss Bill Harrigan denied whistleblowers had gone soft on headbutts, with Ashley Klein and Gerard Sutton criticised for their decision not to march Hayne.

Asked if a headbutt was still a send off offence, Harrigan said:

"Yes it is."

Asked then why Hayne had not been sent off, Harrigan said he was not allowed to comment on the incident because the case remained before the judiciary.

Hayne and Payne were two of six players to be charged from the weekend's round, but Wests Tigers lock Chris Heighington is the only one facing suspension with an early guilty plea.

Heighington copped a grade two high tackle charge for his high shot which left Gold Coast backrower Greg Bird bloodied.

The Tigers, already minus a host of players through injury, can ill-afford to be without Heighington ahead of Friday night's meeting with high-flying Brisbane at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Canberra's Josh McCrone was charged over his bump on referee Steve Lyons, but will avoid suspension with an early plea.

The same applies to Newcastle's Steve Southern, who was charged over a dangerous throw on Cronulla fullback Nathan Gardner, while Sharks skipper Paul Gallen can also escape a ban after finding himself in strife for leading with his forearm.

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