Sydney Roosters star James Maloney is likely to escape suspension for his ill-disciplined challenge on South Sydney’s Kyle Turner.
Maloney thrust his leg at Turner as the Rabbitohs back-rower worked the ball out from his own end in the first half of the Roosters’ 30-0 win over their arch-rivals at Allianz Stadium on Friday night.
The incident is sure to be scrutinised by the NRL Match Review Committee when they meet on Monday.
However, it’s probable the ugly strike will attract either a grade one tripping charge or a grade one contrary conduct charge.
The premiership-winning pivot would be free to play in the Roosters’ qualifying final against Melbourne at Allianz Stadium on Friday night if he was to take the early guilty plea on either charge, given his good judiciary record.
The Maloney incident is not dissimilar to one involving Canterbury five-eighth Josh Reynolds in this year’s City/Country clash.
Reynolds was hit with a grade one tripping charge after attempting to fell Tariq Sims and missed a week because of his priors.
Maloney has no such worries. He has no carry-over points and because he has no judiciary record over the past two years, attracts no loading.
However, if he was to cop a grade two tripping charge or a grade two contrary conduct charge he would miss the first week of the finals.
Maloney’s absence would be keenly felt by the minor premiers who already have Mitchell Pearce on the sidelines with a hamstring complaint.
Roosters prop Dylan Napa is also expected to escape suspension for a ‘crusher’ tackle.
The Queenslander was put on report for the tackle but it is not likely to go further.
Tricolours front-rower Sam Moa will probably come under the attention of the match review committee as well, over an apparent high shot on Rabbitohs back-rower Glenn Stewart.
His loss would also hurt the Roosters, who are without forward leader Jared Waerea-Hargreaves for the rest of 2015 due to a knee injury.
In other incidents in round 26, Newcastle forward Sims was put on report for a shoulder charge.