Aidan Guerra believes “common sense will prevail” and retiring Brisbane captain Justin Hodges will avoid an NRL grand final ban.
Hodges’ dream of bowing out with a premiership is on the line after being placed on report for his dangerous throw on Guerra in Brisbane’s 31-12 preliminary final win over Sydney Roosters.
Brisbane booked their first grand final berth since 2006 with the six-tries-to-two win in front of a sold out 51,826-strong Suncorp Stadium crowd on Friday night.
But whether 33-year-old Hodges draws the curtain on his 16 season career in the decider may depend on Monday’s match review committee findings.
Guerra believed Queensland Origin teammate Hodges should not sweat on the 57th-minute tackle in the veteran centre’s 250th NRL game.
“I think common sense will prevail on that tackle,” he said.
“It was a penalty – nothing more, nothing less.
“He’ll be right.”
Even gutted Roosters coach Trent Robinson wanted veteran centre Hodges to be sent out a winner.
“It would be tough (to miss the grand final),” he said.
“I hope he gets his fairytale and gets to play.”
If charged with a grade one dangerous throw, Hodges will receive 93 demerit points with an early plea.
But he has a 20 per cent loading due to a prior offence, lifting his demerit points past 100 – a one match ban.
After telling Channel Nine as he left the field that he was “not worried” about the tackle, Hodges was a little more circumspect post-match.
“It’s out of my hands,” he said.
“But to me there was nothing in it.”
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett – now in sight of his seventh title for Brisbane and eighth overall – wasn’t losing any sleep over Hodge’s tackle.
“I am not overly worried about it,” he said.
“We have capable replacements if worst comes to worst.”
Hodges had earlier sent a scare through the Broncos camp in the first half when he left the field with a hip complaint, only to return 10 minutes later.
Bennett also played down centre Jack Reed’s 67th minute exit with what is now believed to be cramping.
Hodges still had plenty to savour on Friday night, farewelling his homeground Suncorp Stadium in style.
The omens were good from the outset when fullback Darius Boyd scored an opening minute intercept try thanks to a Shaun Kenny-Dowall brain snap.
The howler helped Brisbane jump to a 16-0 lead after 19 minutes.
They led 20-12 by halftime and when the Roosters’ NSW half Mitchell Pearce (leg) didn’t return after the break, neither did the minor premiers’ winning hopes.
The 19-point loss was a season worst for the Roosters who came into the game leading the league in most defensive categories, conceding just 12.8 points a game.