NSW five-eighth Mitchell Pearce has escaped State of Origin suspension after submitting an early guilty plea for a tackle on Cronulla’s Michael Gordon, while Blues teammate James Tamou can also avoid a ban if he pleads guilty.
Sydney Roosters halfback Pearce was cited by the NRL match review committee for grade-one dangerous contact on Gordon in his team’s upset loss to Cronulla on Sunday.
But he didn’t take his chances fighting the charge, pleading guilty on Tuesday – the same day Laurie Daley named the 26-year-old in his Origin team for game two.
Not so lucky is Manly forward Justin Horo, who will miss one match despite an early plea for his grade-one dangerous tackle on Brisbane’s Darius Boyd near halftime in the Broncos’ 44-10 thumping of the Sea Eagles on Friday night.
Newcastle’s Kurt Gidley will fight his dangerous contact charge for a tackle on Raiders five-eighth Blake Austin, which carries only 90 points with an early guilty plea.
However, Gidley has 51 carry over points due to a prior offence in the past two years which means he’ll miss one match if unsuccessful.
Wests Tigers’ Sauaso Sue (grade-two careless high tackle) has also escaped a ban with an early guilty plea for his hit on Gold Coast’s Aidan Sezer late in the Tigers’ 27-20 loss on Friday.
Tamou can line up for NSW at the MCG with an early guilty plea for dangerous contact on Parramatta’s Pauli Pauli.
The 26-year-old North Queensland prop was slapped with a grade-one charge on Tuesday for his 76th-minute hit on the Eels forward in Monday night’s comeback win.
Eels forward Ma’u Manu was also given a grade-two dangerous contact charge for his effort on the Cowboys’ Ray Thompson just before halftime.
Manu faces three matches on the sidelines if he fights it but can get away with only two if he submits an early plea, even with 63 carry-over points.