Sam Thaiday is preparing for a likely NRL suspension after a nasty lifting tackle on NSW captain Paul Gallen in Wednesday night’s State of Origin win, but Brisbane’s precarious ladder position could tempt him to fight the charge at the judiciary.
Thaiday’s thrill at Queensland capturing a 10th Origin series in 11 years was tempered by the grade two dangerous throw charge he faces after dumping Gallen on his head in the 26-16 game two win at Suncorp Stadium.
The incident, which sparked a melee between both sides and led to the penalty that put NSW in front for the first and only time on Wednesday night.
But it leaves Thaiday and the Broncos with a tough call to make: take an early guilty plea and miss two games, or fight it and risk missing three.
Brisbane are fourth on a congested NRL ladder, only three points above seventh place, and face Canterbury (away), Melbourne (home) and South Sydney (away) in the coming weeks.
“We’re kind of in a position at the moment where we have to string a couple of more wins together to really cement our spot up there in the top four because essentially, that’s where we want to be as a team,” Thaiday said.
“I’ve got to go back to the club now and have a chat to them and see where we’re going to go and what we’re going to do.
“If I have to sit out a couple of weeks, I’ve got every confidence in the players at the Broncos at the moment that they’ll fill the gap that I leave.”
Thaiday said Gallen’s attempt at playing down the tackle after the match probably won’t help him defend his case, while when reminded that Blues five-eighth Josh Reynolds was able to overturn a grade two dangerous throw charge in 2014, he deadpanned: “I’m from Queensland.”
As for the Maroons, who secured their first series win under Kevin Walters with the 26-16 result on Wednesday night, it is beginning to finally dawn on Thaiday the extent of their incredible State of Origin juggernaut.
“I’m waiting for the film crew to do a documentary on us, I’ve been watching a few 30 for 30 films on ESPN and they might do one on this Queensland team one day,” he said.