Moses escapes charge for referee contact

Mitchell Moses has avoided being charged for touching referee Chris James in Wests Tigers’ NRL win over Manly at Leichhardt Oval on Monday night.

Moses was preparing to feed a scrum in the first half when he grabbed James’ arm and moved the referee out of the way, however unlike Canterbury’s David Klemmer and Brisbane’s James Roberts, he has not been hit with a contrary conduct charge.

Roberts has also escaped suspension for coming into contact with referee Matt Noyen, after Brisbane confirmed he would accept the 93 points for an early guilty plea.

Meanwhile the Warriors Ben Matulino will head to the judiciary on Wednesday night in an attempt to beat a four-match suspension for a shoulder charge on Brisbane’s Corey Oates.

He will be joined there by Canberra’s Joseph Leilua, who will fight a contrary conduct charge for slapping Sydney Roosters prop Dylan Napa in the Raiders’ victory on Saturday.

The centre will already miss two matches after pleading guilty to a dangerous throw on Shaun Kenny-Dowall, however he will be forced to sit out an extra week if he fails to beat the contrary conduct charge.

Parramatta’s Manu Ma’u will also miss a match after pleading guilty to a dangerous contact charge on North Queensland’s Kyle Feldt.

However after a weekend where the spotlight was firmly on players making contact with referees, all eyes will be on whether Klemmer can beat his grade-one contrary charge before the judiciary panel.

Due to carry-over points and loading from last year’s infamous Good Friday match where he was sin-binned for dissent, Klemmer is facing two weeks for the same grade-one charge Roberts copped.

He has found an ally however in his NSW Origin captain Paul Gallen, who has come to his defence in saying he believes the 22-year-old was unlucky and did not mean to make contact with the referee.

“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.”

Finally, North Queensland’s Matthew Scott will also head to the judiciary in an effort to maintain a clean record in the NRL.

Regardless of whether he wins or loses his case, he will avoid suspension for dangerous contact on Parramatta’s Kenny Edwards.

Melbourne’s Marika Koroibete (dangerous throw), Napa (high tackle) and the Warriors’ Jacob Lillyman (high tackle) have also avoided suspension by taking early guilty pleas.

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