Cowboys to consider Faumuina charge - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cowboys to consider Faumuina charge

By Philip Henderson 14/08/2007 08:15:02 PM Comments (0)

North Queensland appear likely to challenge the grading of Sione Faumuina's reckless high tackle charge at the NRL judiciary in a bid to have the former New Zealand international available for the start of the finals.

Faumuina was charged with a grade two reckless high tackle by the match review committee for his shot on Penrith hooker Luke Priddis on Monday.

With loading from two previous high tackle offences in the past two seasons, Faumuina is facing a five-match ban with an early guilty plea, and seven-game suspension if he pleads not guilty and is unsuccessful at the judiciary.

Five games would rule him out until at least the third week of the playoffs should the fourth-placed Cowboys make the preliminary final.

Chief executive Peter Parr said the club would decide on Wednesday morning whether to go to the judiciary after scrutinising video of the 41st minute incident.

But given the time of year, the Cowboys would appear more than likely to try their luck - particular as they have plenty of scope to argue for a downgrade which could knock off one or two weeks from the ban.

A guilty plea for a grade one reckless high tackle would hand Faumuina a four-match ban.

While if the Cowboys successfully argued for the charge to be downgraded three rungs to a grade-four careless, the former New Zealand international would serve just three games, making him available for the first week of the finals.

It would appear unlikely the Cowboys would challenge the tackle outright and plead not guilty by Wednesday's noon deadline, although replays suggest Faumuina - who was the third man in on the tackle - may have first connected with the ball before his forearm smacked Priddis in the face.

A groggy Priddis was forced from the field after the hit, but returned about 10 minutes later to finish the match - won 30-26 by the Cowboys in golden-point extra time.

The Panthers, who were virtually assured of the wooden spoon following the loss, stopped short of calling for Faumuina to be sent off after the match.

But Priddis joined Penrith skipper Craig Gower's call for the NRL to allow referees to sin bin players for such incidents.

"If a precedence is sent down that a bloke is injured from foul play and the other bloke gets 10 minutes, well I suppose then the refs will be more likely to react," Priddis told Network Ten.

Faumuina was the only player charged from what was a spiteful clash at CUA Stadium.

Priddis, who was expected to come under scrutiny for a forearm on Justin Smith, escaped a charge, with the match review also likely to have looked at a high tackle by Smith on Panthers centre Maurice Blair.

Cowboys backrower Steve Southern will have scans on his injured shoulder, but wasn't named to play St George Illawarra on Saturday and may be in doubt for the rest of the season.

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