Ryan’s grade-three crusher charge too tough to bear, say angry Wests Tigers GREG PRICHARD
March 17, 2010
WESTS TIGERS are considering seeking a downgrading to a charge faced by winger Beau Ryan stemming from Monday’s night game against Manly - and the Sea Eagles are thinking similarly about a charge faced by forward George Rose.
Tigers chief executive Stephen Humphreys last night criticised the severity of the grade-three dangerous contact, unnecessary head/neck pressure, charge against Ryan, who faces a three-match suspension for an early guilty plea or four games if found guilty at a judiciary hearing of making what is known as a ‘‘crusher’’ tackle.
The club had anticipated the tackle might draw some attention from the match review committee but thought it would be at the lower end of the scale. Officials are considering whether Ryan should plead guilty and seek a reduction to a grade two, which would result in a one-match ban.
‘‘We were very surprised and disappointed by the severity of it,’’ Humphreys said. ''Most people who watched the game would be surprised that was judged the most serious offence on the night. When you put the points for the three Manly charges together, they still don’t add up to what Beau received, so they were judged to be less on aggregate than what he did.
‘‘We’re not going to make a decision until tomorrow morning. We’ve had a chat about it this afternoon but we need to get some more information and advice. Certainly, seeking a downgrading is an option we are looking at closely but we’ll have to weigh everything up first.’’
Each of the three Manly charges Humphreys referred to out of the game, won 26-22 by the Tigers, were for high tackles.
Halfback Kieran Foran and forward Brent Kite were each charged with a grade-one careless high tackle, and Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler said last night the club had submitted early guilty pleas on each count. Neither player will be suspended but each is left with 56 carry-over points.
Rose was charged with a grade-four careless high tackle. He would be suspended for one match with an early guilty plea or two games if he was found guilty. Manly would have to get Rose’s charge reduced by two grades to make such a challenge worthwhile, since a grade three would still leave him with a one-match ban. A grade two would see him narrowly avoid suspension, and be left with 93 carry-over points.
The danger of pleading guilty and seeking a downgrading at a judiciary hearing is that if the player is unsuccessful he is then hit with the full ban.
‘‘We’ll look at it again in the morning and make a decision then,’’ Hasler said. ‘‘Seeking a downgrading is something we’re seriously looking at.’’
Humphreys said the club would employ Geoff Bellew, SC, to act on Ryan’s behalf if they go to a hearing tonight. It could be a busy night for Bellew if both the Tigers and the Sea Eagles seek downgradings because he usually acts for Manly and would presumably be retained to appear on Rose’s behalf as well.
The three players who were charged on Monday as a result of weekend matches all entered early guilty pleas yesterday.
Canterbury hooker Michael Ennis will serve a one-match suspension for a grade-two careless high tackle. Warriors five-eighth James Maloney and Gold Coast forward Bodene Thompson will each miss suspension after both were charged with grade-one dangerous contact with a kicker.
Maloney and Thompson are each left with 75 carry-over points.
Meanwhile, Tigers forward Keith Galloway has extended his contract with the club. Galloway was contracted until the end of 2011 but has stretched that to 2013.
‘‘I’m looking forward to playing with these guys for a long while,’’ Galloway said yesterday. ‘‘The club’s been good to me, so as soon as they came up with a reasonable offer I was pretty happy to stay here. I’d like to finish my career here if I could.’’
Galloway is tipped to make a strong bid for selection in the NSW team for the State of Origin series against Queensland this year.
I like what Stephen Humphreys has brought so far to our club. We should be attacking the match review panel on the grading of this charge, their is no way Beau should be looking at 3-4 weeks on the sideline. Humphreys I think will become one of the best administrators in the game. Only reservation I have is he wants to sign Sheens to a new contract. I would not offer Tim a new contract unless we make the finals; failure to make the 8 again means Sheens has to go!!!