Josh Reynolds will be free to play next week despite copping yet another tripping charge from the NRL match review committee (MRC).
Reynolds was cited for a grade-one trip on St George Illawarra’s Joel Thompson during Canterbury’s 13-10 win on Friday night but is clear to play next weekend.
Thompson is facing a week on the sidelines for a high tackle on Josh Jackson, while his back-row partner Tyson Frizell will also sit out next week after being charged with touching referee Chris James.
Bulldogs playmaker Reynolds incurred a 50 per cent loading – after being found guilty of a grade-two trip on Ben Barba in 2014 – but will escape suspension with an early guilty plea.
Reynolds’ trip turned out to be a game-turning play with Thompson brought down just inches from the line and, had he scored, it would have changed the complexion of the game.
After the match, Thompson was reluctant to comment on the incident having not seen a replay but said he would have been filthy if he had been brought down illegally.
“Yeah, if it was a trip, I’d be dirty,” Thompson said.
“But I’d be very surprised if it was a trip. I’d be filthy.
“But it might have been just a good tackle.
“I’m not too sure; I haven’t seen a replay. It happened in the heat of battle – I was definitely through.”
Dragons coach Paul McGregor questioned why the incident was not pulled up by the bunker given tripping is a reportable offence.
Reynolds has an unsavoury reputation for putting his leg out, having been suspended for a similar offence on Tariq Sims in last year’s City v Country match.
Thompson was hit hard by the MRC because of his poor record.
His high shot on Jackson in the 50th minute forced the NSW forward from the field for a concussion test.
Thompson has three times been found guilty of a careless high tackle in the past two years and will miss next week’s clash with Brisbane unless he takes his case to the judiciary.
Likewise, Frizell will sit out Thursday night’s showdown with the out-of-sorts Brisbane after copping a grade-one contrary conduct citation.