Gold Coast prop Ryan James will fight a dangerous contact charge in a bid to play in Friday night’s NRL derby with Brisbane.
Titans coach Neil Henry admitted he was surprised that NSW Origin hopeful James was slapped with the grade one charge after Saturday’s comeback win in Canberra.
The Titans prop was charged after appearing to twist the leg of Raiders winger Jordan Rapana in a tackle following a 20m re-start.
James is facing a week off if he unsuccessfully fights the charge due to a poor record.
“We will go down and contest that charge,” Henry said on Tuesday.
“I was surprised. When we looked at it, it was pretty innocuous.
“It wasn’t a penalty. I didn’t see much in it – we feel it is a bit of a harsh charge.”
Henry admitted he didn’t even realise the incident – which went unnoticed by on-field officials – until the charge sheet was revealed.
Meanwhile, Parramatta enforcer Manu Ma’u is set for yet another stint on the NRL sidelines after being charged for a crusher tackle on Wests Tigers’ Josh Aloiai.
In what was his first game back from a one-week suspension for the same offence, Ma’u was cited by the NRL match review committee for a 58th-minute tackle in his side’s 8-0 win at ANZ Stadium on Monday.
Ma’u will miss two games even with an early guilty plea.
The Eels forward was charged with grade-one dangerous contact but because of his poor record – with loading due to two prior similar offences in the last year, another non-similar offence and 65 carryover points – he faces a heavier sanction.
Melbourne’s Marika Koroibete is facing a one-week suspension after being charged with tripping Cronulla’s Chad Townsend.
Sharks coach Shane Flanagan was left fuming after Koroibete was not sent off when he stuck his leg out at Townsend in the 61st minute of Cronulla’s 14-6 win at Shark Park on Monday.
With an early guilty plea for the grade-one offence, Koroibete will miss Sunday’s clash with Newcastle because of 88 carryover points.