David Klemmer will miss just the first week of the NRL season after having his dangerous contact charge downgraded at the judiciary on Tuesday night.
Canterbury prop Klemmer was hit with a grade-two charge for his tackle on Melbourne’s Kenny Bromwich in last weekend’s trial match at Belmore Sportsground and was facing three weeks on the sideline after being found guilty by the judiciary panel.
However the NSW forward will only miss the Bulldogs’ season opener.
“I am pretty relieved with the result,” Klemmer said.
“It is still disappointing I can’t be out there with the boys for round one. But it is still a good result. I won’t miss too many games and I will learn from my actions.
“I was just trying to make a tackle and those tackles sometimes accidentally happen in rugby league and I will have to take the consequences.”
Judiciary counsel Peter McGrath described the tackle as “careless”, “very late” and said Klemmer “launched himself” at Bromwich and made no attempt to use his arms or shoulder.
“The risk of danger was extreme,” he said.
“A little bit either way and it could have been catastrophic.”
However defence counsel Nick Ghabar said Klemmer was simply trying to protect himself in the tackle.
“It was more like self preservation than an attempt to take out the legs of player Bromwich,” he said.
Ghabar claimed the two camera angles that were available via the ABC and NRL Films were “inconclusive” and that Klemmer made contact with Bromwich’s hip or buttock rather than his legs.
He said the tackle went wrong because Klemmer lost his balance as he attempted to tackle Bromwich.
The judiciary panel of Chris McKenna, Royce Ayliffe and Mal Cochrane found Klemmer guilty of dangerous contact, but then lessened the charge to a grade one, earning Klemmer a week on the sidelines.
He will be available for the Dogs’ round two match against Penrith at Pepper Stadium on Thursday March 10.