Bird seeks downgrade on high-tackle charge

Greg Bird will head to the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night in an effort to avoid a one-week suspension for a careless high-tackle charge.

Bird was slapped with a grade-two charge for a hit that left Cronulla five-eighth James Maloney concussed in Gold Coast’s five-point loss on Sunday.

He will attempt to have the charge downgraded, which would leave him free to face St George Illawarra on Saturday.

Bird will still miss just the one match if he fails to reduce the grading.

Luke Lewis took the early guilty plea on his shoulder charge sanction and will miss Cronulla’s trip to Canberra on Sunday.

The Sharks back-rower would have risked missing two matches by challenging the charge at the judiciary.

Elsewhere, the Dragons’ Gareth Widdop and Manly’s Dylan Walker have each pleaded guilty to grade-one tripping charges and have avoided suspension.

Canberra’s Shaun Fensom and Joseph Tapine are also free to play against the Titans this weekend after pleading guilty to a lifting tackle on Parramatta’s Michael Gordon.

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