NRL face test on referee contact, punching

The NRL will face a test on at least two fronts when David Klemmer and Joseph Leilua front the judiciary on Wednesday night.

Canterbury forward Klemmer will test the NRL’s crackdown on players making contact with a referee, while Leilua will push the boundaries on the governing body’s move to outlaw punching from rugby league.

Klemmer was one of two players, along with Brisbane’s James Roberts, hit with contrary conduct charges over contact with a referee stemming from round two.

Roberts escaped suspension after taking the early guilty plea – however NSW forward Klemmer faces a two match ban if found guilty of the offence.

Muddying the waters is the fact Mitchell Moses, Trent Merrin and Jamie Soward all escaped censure from the match review committee after making contact with referees in round two.

Former NRL CEO Dave Smith brought in the ‘one punch and you are off’ edict in 2013.

Leilua was sin-binned for striking Sydney Roosters forward Dylan Napa in the Raiders win on Saturday. The match review committee moved to draw a line in the sand after Leilua responded to a questionable tackle from Napa.

But the Raiders were not happy with the charge and have elected to fight it. He faces a one-match ban if found guilty.

North Queensland prop Matt Scott will also go before the three-man judiciary panel, to fight a dangerous contact charge.

He is seeking to keep his clean judiciary record intact and won’t miss Thursday’s clash with the Roosters regardless of the outcome.

Warriors forward Ben Matulino too will visit the NRL’s Moore Park base in a bid to beat a four-match ban for a shoulder charge.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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