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Charge puts Thurston in doubt for Origin

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Thurston and the ref

Moment of contact: North Queensland’s Johnathan Thurston collides with Matt Cecchin during the match against the Warriors. Picture: Fox Sports
Source: The Daily Telegraph

UPDATED: Johnathan Thurston could be rubbed out of State of Origin III by the NRL judiciary.

Thurston was yesterday charged with contrary conduct for allegedly making contcat with the referee during Saturday night’s match against New Zealand Warriors in Townsville.

The Queensland and North Queensland Cowboys star is facing a two match ban by pleading guilty. He will also miss two games by fighting and losing the charge.


Thurston’s only hope of playing the Blues is by fronting the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night and beating the charge.

Thurston will have to fight the charge, or the grading, to take his place in the decider.

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The incident took place in the 23rd minute of their clash with the Warriors on Saturday night, when he ran into referee Matt Cecchin.

The grade two charge carries a penalty of 225 points – 100 points earns a week on sidelines.

An early guilty plea reduces this to 202 points, while challenging the ruling and being found guilty will leave him with a charge of 270 points.

The news is a huge concern to Maroons coach Mal Meninga and his team who are desperate to send Queensland legend Darren Lockyer out a winner and secure a sixth straight series win.

NSW are equally desperate to break their losing streak and picked up some momentum following last week’s 18-8 Origin II victory at ANZ Stadium.

Boom Cowboys forward Tariq Sims is likely to miss at least one match after he was charged with a grapple tackle on Krisnan Inu.

Touted as a bolter for the Blues, Sims has received a grade two charge for dangerous contact – unnecessary head/neck pressure.

He will miss one game with the early plea or two with an unsuccessful defence.

Melbourne wrecking ball Sika Manu has escaped a similar charge for a nasty looking tackle on Wests Tigers fullback Wade McKinnon in the Storm’s win at Leichhardt Oval, but has been booked for dropping his knees on backrower Gareth Ellis.

The grade one dangerous contact charge means Manu will escape a ban with the early plea or miss one game with an unsuccessful challenge.

Tigers captain Robbie Farah was livid about both incidents following Sunday’s match, saying he hoped the match review committee would look at the kneeing incident.

Farah also expressed his faith in the disciplinary system after Manu was placed on report for the alleged “crusher” tackle on McKinnon.

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