Wests Tigers skipper Robbie Farah has leapt to the defence of fiery teammate Martin Taupau, saying his swinging arm on Sydney Roosters five-eighth James Maloney was out of “frustration”.
Taupau has been widely-panned for the hit that drew a grade three dangerous contact charge from the NRL match review committee.
The club has until 12pm on Tuesday to decide whether to accept the early guilty plea, which would result in a three-game ban.
Should they fight the charge and lose, Taupau would be rubbed out for four games.
Farah denied Taupau was a dirty player and argued that the shot was borne out of frustration.
“It’s been a tough few weeks here. When you’re losing, you get a bit frustrated out there. That’s all it was, just a bit of frustration from Marty,” Farah told AAP.
Taupau said he had sought Maloney out after the game and apologised for the offence.
“I was just trying to create something for the boys in a proper manner. I guess it didn’t turn out that way,” he said prior to the charge.
“I went and seen the Roosters boys after and apologised to Maloney, and told him there was no malice behind it. I just shook hands with the boys and left it at that.”
Meanwhile, Melbourne front-rower Jesse Bromwich is facing a lengthy ban after being charged with biting.
Bromwich was hit with a dangerous contract charge and has been referred directly to the NRL judiciary.
He was accused by St George Illawarra fullback Josh Dugan of biting down on his arm during the Storm’s 22-4 win on Saturday.
Canterbury five-eighth Josh Reynolds could also be out for up to a fortnight for his hit on Cronulla’s Valentine Holmes.
Reynolds connected with the head and neck of Holmes as the youngster attempted a field goal in the dying stages of the Sharks’ win at Belmore Sports Ground on Sunday.
He can accept a one-game ban if he pleads guilty, but could be rubbed out for a fortnight if found guilty.
Brisbane prop Adam Blair has been charged with a grade two shoulder charge on Gold Coast’s Kane Elgey and can accept a two-week ban with an early guilty plea.
Newcastle playmaker Tyrone Roberts will be free to play this weekend with an early guilty plea to a dangerous throw charge.