Parramatta will almost certainly accept an early guilty plea that’ll rule prop Darcy Lussick out for four matches following the NRL match review committee’s decision to slug him with a grade four reckless high tackle charge.
Lussick will be suspended for four NRL matches if he accepts the sanction for his swinging-arm high-shot on Sydney Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves in Saturday night’s 56-4 win over the Eels.
Should he try and fight the charge he’ll appear before the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night where he risks six matches on the sidelines if he fails to overturn the charge.
Despite Roosters coach Trent Robinson questioning the officials’ decision not to send off Lussick, Eels teammate Corey Norman remarkably claimed on Monday he could see nothing wrong with the challenge.
Asked his thoughts on the swinging arm before a recovery session on Monday afternoon, Norman said: “It was good.”
“It fired us up there in the back 20. We needed it.
“I think they’re good mates and it came off his shoulder first.”
Former Penrith five-eighth Travis Burns was in 2012 suspended for nine matches for what the judiciary determined was a deliberate high tackle.
However, Lussick, who has no similar prior offences of that nature has managed to get away with a high reckless charge.
But veteran forward Ben Smith doesn’t believe that’s a good enough reason for him to change the way he plays.
“He’s a front-rower and it’s probably one of the hardest positions you can play in the game,” he said.
“For Darcy to tone it down, then he’s going to lose that edge.
“As a team, we need him on the park and we also need his physicality and his aggressiveness.”
Senior Eels forward Ben Smith said he didn’t see the shot but conceded it was serious enough to have drawn the fiery reaction from the Roosters.
“I don’t think Darcy came in with any intent to do what he’d done,” Smith told AAP.
“It’s rugby league and these things happen.”
In a big week for the NRL match review committee, six players were charged, with Brisbane prop Josh McGuire hit with two offences.
McGuire received a grade one for dangerous contact with the kicker and a careless high tackle, and is set to spend a week on the sidelines.
Canberra’s Shaun Fensom is facing a one round suspension as well for placing unnecessary head or neck pressure in the Raiders’ win over Newcastle on Sunday.
Fensom risks missing two weeks if he pleads not guilty.
Meanwhile, Parramatta’s Tim Mannah, Wests Tiger Sauaso Sue and Manly’s Anthony Watmough should all be free to play this weekend despite being charged with minor infringements.