Canberra hooker Josh Hodgson has effectively killed off his Dally M chances after making the shock decision to sit out a week for a grapple tackle on Melbourne’s Jesse Bromwich.
Hodgson made the surprise move to plead no contest to a grade one dangerous contact charge, meaning he will miss Sunday’s clash with Parramatta.
He would have been free to play had he taken an early guilty plea however the club said he was thinking about the side’s finals charge and didn’t want to risk being rubbed out for a big game.
The decision centres around carryover points.
Had he pleaded guilty, he would have had 75 carryover points and was worried he could miss a crunch match such as a preliminary final or grand final with a minor charge.
However by sitting out a week, his slate is wiped clean.
It all but kills off his hopes of winning the Dally M medal since the week’s suspension carries a three-point penalty, almost certainly ruling him out of the race.
He was two points behind leaders Cameron Smith, Ryan James and Cooper Cronk when voting went behind closed doors in round 16.
Hodgson wasn’t put on report by referee Matt Cecchin for the tackle on Bromwich but the English international’s actions were slammed by league great Andrew Johns.
“He (Hodgson) has used his head as a can opener there,” Johns said on Triple M’s commentary.
Hodgson himself described the tackle as a “brain explosion” that gifted the Storm two points, and conceded that the ensuing replays did him no favours.
But he rejected the notion that it was deliberate.
“There was no malice in that. I was just trying to slow the play-the-ball down,” he said.
“Everyone has a bit of a brain explosion, that was me giving away a silly penalty. I’ve seen the replay, it didn’t look great.”
Meanwhile, South Sydney’s Zane Musgrove will miss one match for a shoulder charge on Warrior Albert Vete.