Justin Hodges has moved to jump on claims Aidan Guerra lied for him at Tuesday night’s NRL judiciary hearing, after the Brisbane skipper was cleared to play in the grand final.
Guerra, a Queensland teammate of Hodges’, gave testimony favourable to him at the hearing at Rugby League Central at Moore Park, claiming he jumped in the tackle under scrutiny to earn his Sydney Roosters side a penalty in Friday’s preliminary final.
The judiciary panel of Royce Ayliffe, Chris McKenna and Bronson Harrison believed Guerra’s testimony and found Hodges not guilty of the grade one dangerous throw charge levelled at him.
As a result Hodges is now free to play in Sunday’s premiership decider against North Queensland at ANZ Stadium.
Guerra’s claims come despite Roosters coach Trent Robinson consistently maintaining his players never play for penalties.
Judiciary chairman Geoff Bellew appeared concerned by Guerra’s testimony at times and asked him to clarify what he was saying – chiefly that he jumped in the tackle to earn a penalty, subsequently putting himself at risk – on a number of occasions.
Hodges also testified that Guerra jumped in the tackle and that contributed to the position Guerra ended up in with his head and shoulder striking the ground. After the hearing Hodges denied that Guerra had been bending the truth.
“He came here to speak the truth, I didn’t ask him to come here and lie,” Hodges said.
“I knew straight away that he jumped and he felt the same. I said to him you don’t have to come if you don’t want to .
“This is what I felt happened in the tackle and if you feel the same can you come and say that. He honestly felt the same and that is why he came.”
After several days of worry, Hodges said he was looking forward to ramping up his preparation for the grand final, when his Broncos teammates join him in Sydney on Wednesday.
“To be honest I just want to get through tonight, it has been a tough few days not knowing the outcome,” he said.
“I just want to get through the night and I am looking forward to my teammates coming down.