The NRL judiciary looks set to determine another Grand Final.
Brisbane Broncos captain Justin Hodges will have his fate decided on Tuesday night, as he and the club look set to defend a grade one dangerous throw for his tackle on Roosters backrower Aidan Guerra.
But it doesn’t look good.
Not because of the tackle – Guerra himself admitts he was off-balance and contributed to the fall that saw him topple past the horizontal – but because Brisbane have only a seven per cent success rate with the blatantly partisan NRL judiciary.
Queenslanders have long known and seen the Sydney judiciary protecting their own – consistently rubbing out players from teams north of the border, while expressing leniency for NSW clubs. It is an outrage that has existed for such a long time it has all but been accepted.
In fact, the last time the Brisbane club had a player exonerated by the NRL judiciary was Karmichael Hunt back in the year 2000 (Hunt has swapped codes three times since then).
The Brisbane club have virtually given up contesting charges, realising the futility of expecting fairness from the judiciary. The last time they fought a charge was in 2013. Just once in 14 attempts has a Bronco’s player been acquitted by the board.
Aidan Guerra has offered to support Hodges at the hearing. In an interview with Fox Sports he was asked if he jumped off the ground as Hodges had suggested? Guerra said: “Yep, it’s a bit like that.
“To be honest, I played for the penalty.
“If I tried my hardest (to resist Hodges and fellow Broncos defender Ben Hunt) I wouldn’t have got spear-tackled, but I got the penalty and I really hope it’s left where it is.”
Jonathon Thurston, Cowboys Captain said, “You want to play the best teams at full strength and he needs to be in that team for it to be at full strength. It would be a sad way to end his career (suspended from the grand final).”