Blair cops one-match NRL ban

Brisbane forward Adam Blair has been found guilty of a dangerous contact charge at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night and will serve a one-match ban.

Blair was charged for a hit on Adam Reynolds in the Broncos’ win over South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium on Friday.

The Kiwi international will miss Brisbane’s round nine match against Cronulla at Shark Park on Sunday after the judiciary panel of Matt Cooper, Mal Cochrane and Sean Garlick found him guilty as charged.

However Blair will be free to play for New Zealand in the Test against Australia in Newcastle on May 6.

In Wednesday evening’s other case, St George Illawarra forward Joel Thompson had his grade two high tackle charge downgraded.

He will miss one NRL match.

Judiciary counsel Peter McGrath successfully argued that Blair’s shoulder hit Reynolds in the face.

“It wasn’t intentional, nor reckless but it was careless,” he said.

“The contact was avoidable and dangerous. He did not play with the level of care player Reynolds was entitled to. It was dangerous and put him at risk of injury.”

In giving video evidence from the Broncos boardroom at Red Hill, Blair, with coach Wayne Bennett sitting beside him, claimed he attempted to make a “conventional tackle”.

“My shoulder made contact with his shoulder, my head made contact with his cheek,” Blair said.

Defence counsel Nick Ghabar claimed Blair “efficiently and effectively managed the tackle”.

“Nothing player Blair did was careless,” he said.

“You would have grave doubt whether the shoulder made any contact whatsoever with Reynolds’ head or face.

“Contact was made marginally after the ball left player Reynolds’ hands.”

However the panel saw the incident otherwise.

There were initial fears Reynolds has suffered a broken jaw for the second time this season as a result of the tackle.

However the star halfback has been named for Souths’ round eight fixture against Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium on Thursday.

Thompson will miss the Dragons trip to Auckland to meet the Warriors on Sunday but is free to play in City-Country the following week.

“I was felt it was strange that I was charged and always thought we would get the downgrade,” he said.

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