NRL Broncos' Thaiday accepts two week ban - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL Broncos' Thaiday accepts two week ban

By Wayne Heming 06/09/2011 05:30:49 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane reluctantly copped Sam Thaiday's two-match ban from the NRL finals after getting expert legal advice that the chances of getting his dangerous throw charge downgraded were poor.

Coach Anthony Griffin revealed on Tuesday the club had spent two days wavering between seeking a downgrading, which would free Thaiday to play the qualifying final against the Warriors on Saturday, and accepting the ban.

It was advice from Geoff Bellew QC that tipped the balance, the Broncos accepting the risk of an extra week's suspension didn't justify a challenge.

Bellew, widely recognised for his success in obtaining favourable judiciary findings, warned their chances of success over Thaiday's lifting tackle on Manly forward Brent Kite weren't good.

Queensland and Australian forward Thaiday will now have to hope Brisbane progress through to the preliminary final so he can play again in skipper Darren Lockyer's farewell campaign.

"There were times over the last 48 hours where we were going to fight it, then we weren't," admitted Griffin.

"We took some advice from Bellew, who is an expert in that area, and the risk was too high to go down there (Sydney) and end up with another week.

"In the end we accepted some really good advice about our chances and decided to cop it and move on."

Griffin and football operations manager Andrew Gee spent hours on Monday examining the rule and going over video of Thaiday's tackle.

"I thought it (the grading) was a touch harsh but in the end Sam put himself in that position," said Griffin.

"Sam broke the rules and we had to decide if we could save him a week or two weeks by trying to reduce it (the grading).

"It the end we've decided to save a week the other way and just cop it sweet.

"We've got a couple of good replacements (Ben Te'o and Matt Gillett) who are going to do the job for us."

Te'o, who has battled back from two separate broken arms this season, has won Thaiday's starting spot because of his impressive running game last weekend against Manly and because Gillett, last season's rookie-of-the-year with 12 tries on debut, has settled into his impact role of the bench.

Griffin conceded on paper Brisbane's pack looked weaker without Thaiday against such intimidating opposition as the physical Warriors but said the players coming in for him and injured fullback Josh Hoffman could handle the job.

"We might be weaker in some aspects for people who think that way on paper but we've got to where we are because we're a strong club with 25 players who can do a job," he said.

As expected Gerard Beale will vacate the left wing to play fullback with another youngster, Dale Copley, named on the flank.

The only other change is the return to the bench of strapping young prop David Hala, a late withdrawal against Manly last weekend.

"He's a big boy and at some stage his size will help us out against the Warriors," said Griffin of Hala.

He said last week's grinding 18-10 hit out against Manly last week was just what Brisbane needed before playing the Warriors.

"We didn't need anything cheap (from a weakened Manly side) last Sunday and what we got was exactly what we needed," said Griffin.

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