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NRL Round 6 judiciary: Aloiai banned but Joey says hit 'just an accident', Sharks star suspended, Milford to miss two

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14th April, 2024
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Manly prop Josh Aloiai has been hit with a one-game suspension for his part in the game-changing late penalty that took his side’s clash with the Warriors to extra time on Saturday afternoon.

Aloiai was adjudged to have attacked the legs of Shaun Johnson as he attempted a game-tying field goal, which, although he missed, resulted in an easy penalty goal. The game was ultimately drawn after two periods of golden point.

Though there was little intent, the NRL have shown zero tolerance for challenges towards the legs of kickers of late and slapped the front-rower with a ban.

The Warriors themselves saw the danger of such tackles last week, with their reserve grade hooker Freddie Lussick sent off and then banned for a similar incident that saw Lachlan Ilias wiped out for the season with a broken leg in NSW Cup.

But NRL legend Andrew Johns claimed the bunker got it wrong in penalising Aloiai.

A vocal advocate for the better protection of playmakers, Johns nonetheless labelled the contact as an accident and did not believe it warranted a penalty.

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“I am all for protecting kickers and playmakers, I probably go over the top on it, but it wasn’t a penalty,” the former Newcastle and Kangaroos halfback said on Nine’s Sunday Footy Show.

“He’s competing. And when you compete hard, occasionally accidents happen. That was just an accident.”

Sione Katoa will sit out the Sharks’ clash with the Cowboys next weekend after being charged with a high tackle that left Souths captain Cam Murray concussed. He faces two games if he challenges the grading and loses.

Anthony Milford‘s return to the NRL looks likely to be cut short after the halfback was hit with a two-game ban for a shot on Broncos fullback Reece Walsh.

Milford hit Walsh on suspicion, with the ball never anywhere near the Brisbane player, leading the judiciary to slap him with two weeks if he takes the Early Guilty Plea.

That leaves Wayne Bennett in serious strife, as his team also lost Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow to a hamstring injury and his replacement at the back, Kodi Nikorima, to a calf issue late in the game.

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The Phins take on Parramatta next Friday night and will be down to the bare bones in the playmaker department.

Jordan Riki was the only other charge from the Battle of Brisbane: he was fined for a high shot on Jack Bostock but will be free to play next week.

In the early game, Ryan Papenhuyzen was charged for a hip-drop on Josh Addo-Carr, copping a $750 fine instead of a ban.

Also considering himself lucky is Sam Hughes, who was cited for a second week running for a head slam. Despite being binned at the time, he will not face any time off the field.

Alec MacDonald and Reimis Smith were also fined but not suspended.

Newcastle’s Jacob Saifiti was charged on Friday for his controversial high shot on Lindsay Collins which was not penalised even after the Bunker examined the incident.

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Saifiti clocked his opposing prop in the head during Thursday night’s loss but because his opponent had fumbled the ball a split second before impact, the Bunker ruled no penalty after the Roosters challenged the decision.

Collins and coach Trent Robinson were fuming with the call which drew blood from the Test forward. Saifiti was handed a grade-one careless high tackle charge but faces only a fine of $1800-$2500.

Roosters half Luke Keary was pinged $1000 for contrary conduct for making avoidable contact with a match official.

with AAP

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