Minichiello leaps to Taylor's defence - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Minichiello leaps to Taylor's defence

By Russell Jackson And Wayne Heming 27/06/2011 06:05:38 PM Comments (0)

NSW fullback Anthony Minichiello has leapt to the defence of Queensland forward Dave Taylor, after the giant backrower was hit with a grade two dangerous throw charge by the NRL match review committee.

The in-form South Sydney enforcer is facing the prospect of four weeks on the sidelines and missing the July 6 State of Origin decider if he takes the early plea; a five-match ban if he fights the charge on Wednesday night and loses.

Taylor was charged on Monday after the committee viewed tape of his lifting tackle on Brisbane's Scott Anderson in Friday's match played in rain-drenched Perth.

"I watched the game and I thought that all of the momentum in the tackle was going that way and there wasn't anything he could have done and hopefully he does get off," Minichiello said.

"If I was in that situation, I would be devastated. I hope he gets off."

Taylor is almost certain to fight the charge in a bid to be free to line-up for Queensland for Darren Lockyer's farewell.

South Sydney officials have until midday (AEST) on Tuesday to make a decision.

Queensland coach Mal Meninga questioned whether Taylor could be suspended, when Newcastle and NSW winger Akuila Uate was let off for a lifting tackle in the lead-up to Origin II, after dumping West Tigers' centre Tim Simona on his back in the round-13 clash at Leichhardt Oval.

While Uate had his hands between Simona's legs, Taylor did not have a similar grip - however, he has a heavy points loading from a similar offence in the past two years.

"It was a good tackle by Dave. There wasn't anything malicious about it," Meninga said.

"The player was put in a dangerous position, but they were very slippery conditions. He didn't have his hand between his legs and it was just a good hard tackle.

"Uate had his hands between the legs and put him in a dangerous situation, so if there's a precedent set ..."

Meninga said after a selectors' meeting on Monday in Brisbane that there's no reason to not show faith in his squad for the Origin decider.

There has been speculation that Queensland could recall Newcastle forward Neville Costigan to negate Blues' skipper Paul Gallen, and that selector Allan Smith went to Newcastle on Sunday to watch him play against Sydney Roosters.

However, Costigan injured his knee and was forced out of the game after just 14 minutes.

Meninga said it is likely there will be just one change to the 17 who lost in Sydney earlier this month; Brisbane's Justin Hodges recalled to the centres at the expense of Dane Nielsen after recovering from a hamstring problem.

"There's no reason to be disloyal to them. We're a loyal bunch and they did the job in game one," said Meninga. "There's no reason to panic."

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