The NRL’s crackdown on players making contact with referees will face a test when David Klemmer fronts the judiciary on Wednesday night.
Canterbury’s 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.
It could have been a precedent-setting night for the NRL, with Joseph Leilua also fighting a contrary conduct charge that would test the game’s no-punch law boundaries.
Instead, that battle will be postponed after Leilua successfully applied for an adjournment until next Wednesday.
He is already missing two matches after pleading guilty to a dangerous throw on Shaun Kenny-Dowall, but risks an extra week on the sideline if he fails to beat the second charge.
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.
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.