Paul Gallen has come to the defence of David Klemmer, saying the Bulldogs enforcer was unlucky to be charged with contrary conduct for touching a referee.
As Klemmer prepares to launch his defence at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night, Gallen believes his fellow NSW Origin forward had no intentions of touching referee Ben Cummins in the Bulldogs’ win over Penrith at Pepper Stadium on Thursday night.
“I think Klemmer’s one is an unlucky one,” Gallen told Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast.
“If you have a look at it there’s a bit of commotion that happened and Jamie Soward walked straight at him.
“And he’s seen another person in his peripheral vision walk at him as well and I don’t think he knew it was the referee.
“You saw his hand was actually raised before the referee got really close to him and that was when he touched him.”
Klemmer is facing two weeks on the sideline for the touch, however he would have escaped suspension if not for carryover points and prior loading from last year’s infamous Good Friday match where he was sin-binned for dissent.
Gallen also noted he felt James Roberts meant no malice in his touch on referee Matt Noyen in Brisbane’s win over the Warriors at Suncorp Stadium on Friday.
Roberts was also charged with contrary conduct, but will escape suspension with an early guilty plea.
“It was a friendly love tap, where it was just a `well done mate’ sort of thing,” he said.
“Unfortunately they’re the rules, you just can’t touch them.”
Meanwhile, Wests Tigers five-eighth Mitchell Moses could also be facing a charge for touching referee Chris James before a 12th-minute scrum against Manly on Monday night.
The NRL will release their review of the match today, however any charge could see Moses spend time on the sideline given he has a prior non-similar offence in the past two years.
In other charges from round two, Warriors prop Ben Matulino (shoulder charge) and Joseph Leilua (dangerous throw and contrary conduct) could miss three matches for different offences, while Parramatta’s Manu Ma’u faces a week on the sideline for a `crusher’ tackle.
Dylan Napa, Warrior Jacob Lillyman, Cowboy Matt Scott and Melbourne winger Marika Koroibete can all escape a week’s ban if they take the early plea.