Taupau, Lawrence face one game NRL bans

Manly’s Martin Taupau is set to escape with a week’s suspension for his high shot on Cronulla centre Jack Bird, while his Sea Eagles teammate Brenton Lawrence has been charged with kneeing Sharks rake Michael Ennis in the groin.

Manly power forward Taupau was charged with a grade two careless high tackle by the match committee on Tuesday for his high tackle on Bird that left the Cronulla centre concussed and unable to return to Brookvale Oval on Monday night.

Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett admitted concern over the Taupau tackle which was placed on report, while Sharks mentor Shane Flanagan was confident the matter would be adequately addressed.

Whether he feels a one game ban is sufficient remains to be seen.

South Sydney forward Paul Carter will seek a downgrade to his dangerous contact charge at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night in a bid to take on Canterbury on Friday.

Canberra’s Joey Leilua and Newcastle’s Sione Mata’utia will also argue their cases at rugby league headquarters for respective contrary conduct and dangerous throw charges.

Lawrence was hit with a grade one dangerous contact charge.

Penrith prop Jeremy Latimore and Wests Tigers second-rower Chris Lawrence will each miss a week after both took the early guilty plea on Tuesday.

Latimore is outed for his crusher tackle on Brisbane winger Greg Eden, while Lawrence accepted his fate for putting Gold Coast’s Ryan James in a dangerous position.

Parramatta captain Kieran Foran also copped his contrary conduct charge for touching a referee, and although he won’t miss a game, he’ll now have 93 carryover points.

Carter is in trouble for a second-half cannonball tackle on Mike Cooper, coming in late while the St George Illawarra forward was already being held up by George Burgess and Damien Cook.

At the time, the referee could be heard saying: “That’s a cheap shot, Paul Carter”.

Should the 23-year-old be found guilty, he will be sidelined for two weeks.

Leilua will front the judiciary for a postponed hearing on his contrary conduct charge for punching Sydney Roosters prop Dylan Napa in round two.

The Raiders centre missed last weekend’s draw with Newcastle after pleading guilty to a dangerous throw in the same game, but will now seek to overturn the punching charge on Wednesday night.

He stands to miss another game if found guilty.

Mata’utia will also defend a dangerous throw on Canberra forward Shaun Fensom in the extra-time period of their draw last Saturday. He risks a one-game ban.

Panthers prop Sam McKendry and Rabbitohs utility Kirisome Auva’a were the only other players to submit early guilty pleas on Tuesday, but will escape suspension and are free to play this round.

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