Scott avoids ban over Merrin ‘dive’

Matt Scott has avoided censure from the NRL over a tackle in which the North Queensland prop said Trent Merrin feigned injury to claim a penalty.

Scott was put on report for a `crusher’ tackle on the Penrith forward in the Cowboys’ round six win at Pepper Stadium on Saturday night.

Scott said at the post-match conference Merrin told him he was milking a penalty in the tackle.

The NRL match review committee didn’t deem the tackle dangerous, according to committee co-ordinator Michael Buettner he released their charges on Monday.

“You can see as he takes him to the ground there is a level of care there shown by Matt Scott,” Buettner said in his weekly address on the NRL website.

“We did acknowledge there was flexion of the head/neck to Trent Merrin. But there was enough care taken by Matt Scott in this instance so he is not deemed careless and there was no charge.”

Scott told reporters: “Trent said to me at the end of the game he milked it, so I’m hoping they take that into account.”

Representative back-rowers Luke Lewis and Greg Bird each face at least a week on the sideline following Sunday’s brutal match between Cronulla and the Gold Coast.

Titans star Bird has been charged with a grade-two careless high tackle on Cronulla No.6 James Maloney and will cop a week off even if he accepts an early guilty plea.

Maloney was forced from the field not to return with concussion after he was hit high by Bird after passing the ball early in the first half.

Meanwhile Cronulla’s Lewis could miss as many as two weeks if he attempts to fight a grade-one citing for his 31st-minute shoulder charge on prop Luke Douglas.

However if he takes the early plea, he will miss just one match.

Both Bird and Lewis’ are hurt by the fact they have been found guilty of non-similar offences in the past two years.

Canberra’s Shaun Fensom and Joseph Tapine can escape suspension for their dangerous throw on Michael Gordon in Saturday’s loss to Parramatta.

They were charged for the lifting tackle but will be available to play the Sharks on Sunday if they plead guilty.

Dylan Walker has also been charged for tripping Tuimoala Lolohea in Manly’s win over the Warriors on Saturday but like St George Illawarra’s Gareth Widdop on Thursday night, he will escape suspension even if he chooses to fight the charge and loses.

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