Rugby League


NRL: Canberra Raiders to contest Joey Leilua's contrary conduct charge at judiciary

The Canberra Raiders will contest the contrary conduct charge against centre Joey Leilua at the NRL judiciary next week.

Leilua will miss at least two games after the Raiders took the early guilty plea on a dangerous throw charge from Saturday's 21-20 win against the Sydney Roosters at Canberra Stadium.

But that ban will be extended to three weeks if Leilua is found guilty of contrary conduct on Roosters forward Dylan Napa in the 65th minute.

The Raiders will argue that Leilua being sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes at a critical stage of the game is punishment enough.

"We're confident we've got a good case and that it was dealt with on the day of the game," Raiders chief executive Don Furner said.

Leilua was sent from the field for lashing out at Roosters forward Dylan Napa in reaction to getting hit with a high tackle.


The referee deemed Leilua had made contact with Napa with a closed fist, but the fact he wasn't charged with striking suggested the match review committee didn't deem it too serious.

A similar incident involving Roosters fullback Latrell Mitchell and Raiders second-rower Elliott Whitehead went unpunished.

The Raiders accepted the early guilty plea for Leilua's lifting tackle on Roosters winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall in the 14th minute.

The charge is worth 131 points with an early guilty plea and Leilua also had 70 carry-over points, triggering the two-week suspension.

If Leilua is found guilty of contrary conduct, he will have 175 points added to his total.

Leilua will miss the Raiders' next two games against his old side the Newcastle Knights and the Gold Coast Titans.

He may also be suspended for the round-five clash against the Canterbury Bulldogs at Belmore.

Brenko Lee will take Leilua's place in the centres for the game against the Knights.

The match would have been Leilua's first at Hunter Stadium since leaving the Knights mid-way through last season.

Leilua joined the Raiders in search of greater opportunities and has justified the Raiders' decision to sign him to a three-year deal until the end of 2018.

He lost several kilograms in the off-season and has proved to be dangerous in attack on the right edge.

Leilua has also improved defensively and is forming a solid combination with English international Whitehead.

Napa is free to play the Cowboys on Thursday night after taking an early guilty plea for a high tackle on Raiders winger Jordan Rapana.