Pomeroy in judiciary firing line
Tue, 04 Sep 2012 7:55a.m.
Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen claims the fact Johnathan Thurston was the victim is the only reason Ben Pomeroy will fight a dangerous contact charge at the NRL judiciary.
Pomeroy became the first player to feel the wrath of the NRL over last week's decision to ramp up penalties for shoulder charges which result in dangerous contact to the head or neck of players.
And Gallen is also worried officials will make an example of his teammate.
Pomeroy was referred straight to the judiciary for his 76th minute late hit on Thurston in Sunday's loss to the Cowboys, but Gallen argues it wouldn't have raised as much attention had the target been a lesser-known player.
"Obviously (being) on Johnathan Thurston is going to bring a whole lot more scrutiny to it," Gallen told reporters.
"If it's on a lesser known player we wouldn't even be talking about it."
It was the second time this season that Thurston has been felled by a late hit, with St George Illawarra's Matt Prior copping a five-week suspension as well as a send-off for his shot in round nine.
Thurston said he put his faith in the judiciary panel to make the right call.
"They've got a new judiciary system that's put in place to look after that so I'll put my faith in that," Thurston said.
"That's what the commission is there to do is to is to make these decisions and as a playing group we've got to abide by them.
"There'll be teams that don't agree, obviously the Sharks wouldn't agree too much with it but when you're on the receiving end ... I've been on the receiving end of it twice this year and the judiciary will look after it."
Gallen hoped the new guidelines wouldn't result in his teammate's season being ended early.
"It is a concern," he said.
"Obviously last week when they brought it out I didn't even think twice about it, but now that it's happened to a player at your club you do question the decision to bring it out in round 26."
Gallen refused to concede Pomeroy would not be lining up against Canberra on Sunday, saying the Sharks will be able to mount a strong defence.
"I haven't conceded that he's been found guilty yet," Gallen said.
"He gets to go and plead his case which I think is positive for him and hopefully he'll be ok.
"I think the fact that he gets to go in and plead his case is pretty positive.
"Obviously with a lot of charges these days you don't get to go in, you've got to plead guilty a lot of the time before hand."
The match review committee also charged Parramatta's Reni Maitua with a grade two careless high tackle, which will result in a two-match ban unless he successfully fights the charge.
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