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Josh Reynolds free to play in State of Origin II

Josh Reynolds at the NRL Origin judiciary hearing into his dangerous throw charge at Rugby League Central on Thursday night.

Josh Reynolds at the NRL Origin judiciary hearing into his dangerous throw charge at Rugby League Central on Thursday night. Photo: Getty Images

NSW five-eighth Josh Reynolds capped a memorable 24 hours after having a dangerous throw charge downgraded at the NRL judiciary on Thursday night, allowing him to play for the Blues in game two of the Origin series.

Reynolds and Beau Scott were charged over their tackle on Queensland winger Brent Tate in the 28th minute of Wednesday night's Origin opener.

After helping lead the Blues to a 12-8 victory over the Maroons, Reynolds fronted the NRL tribunal at Moore Park on Thursday night.

The tackle on Brent Tate that resulted in Reynolds being placed on report.

The tackle on Brent Tate that resulted in Reynolds being placed on report. Photo: Getty Images

Reynolds had pledged to fight the charge.

He pleaded guilty but sought a downgrade. Panel members Sean Garlick, Michael Vella and Paul Whatuira took 10 minutes to keep Reynolds' Origin dream alive.

The decision means he won’t miss a game, and, with the Bulldogs having a bye this week, he will play against Manly next Friday.

Reynolds did not speak after the hearing but stood beside Bulldogs chief executive Raelene Castle, who said the club considered requesting an extension to fight the charge, given the short preparation.

Castle said Queenslanders could “keep crying”, in reference to any conspiracy theories up north.

“It was a brave decision to challenge the grading,” Castle said. “Josh is one of those players who plays with a huge amount of passion but never plays with intent to injure anyone.

“It’s always a difficult process."

Reynolds' lawyer Nick Ghaber said Scott - who accepted a grade one dangerous throw charge for his role in the tackle - had contributed most to the "dragging motion" and that Reynolds had "no control" over the tackle.

He also said that the tackle started as a legitimate lifting tackle and there were no hands between the legs. The panel were shown six comparable tackles - instead of the usual three - during the 70-minute hearing.

"At no point do you see Reynolds place his hands or arms in between Tate's legs," said Ghaber, who was passed notes from Bulldogs coach Des Hasler during the hearing.

"The control exerted by Scott is a mitigating factor. Scott takes over the tackle. It wasn't the efforts of Reynolds that cause any significant force in that throw.

“We know control is a very important matter." 

Tate said he had never been more frightened in the tackle but was uninjured.

An early guilty plea would have seen Reynolds miss two games.

NRL counsel Peter Kite said Tate had lost the capacity to protect himself in the tackle and the tackle had a moderate degree of risk. He also pointed to a worrying trend of an increase in dangerous throw suspensions - 10 in 2012 and 17 already this year.

"Reynolds stands up and clearly lifts Tate into a dangerous position," Kite said.

"Reynolds is the player lifting and putting Tate into a dangerous position. He was careless."

147 comments so far

  • Wow… that was worst of the year. If it wasn't obvious while watching SOO now its confirmed, the fix is in.

    Commenter
    butch
    Date and time
    May 29, 2014, 8:04PM
    • Please your've got the 5th marx brother in your ranks ref Hayno and you say the fix is in, the Melbourne tackle on McKinnon is the worst ever Tate didn't stay down so live it Qld.

      Commenter
      roger
      Date and time
      May 30, 2014, 11:42AM
    • Come off it...how was he to know that Scott was doing a back slam at the same time?

      Commenter
      Not tiddly winks
      Location
      Lang Park
      Date and time
      May 30, 2014, 12:31PM
    • Yeah - it was a pretty nasty looking tackle, but there were no lifting hands. If Scott hadn't come in Tate would have just landed heavily and there'd be no discussion. Don't get me wrong - I hate the vicious tackles - the spear tackles, the shoulder charges, the coat-hangers. But this was not worthy of greater action.

      Commenter
      PaddBeeGee
      Date and time
      May 30, 2014, 12:53PM
    • "The fix was on".. give me strength.. did u watch the game? the penalty count at the death? Shane Hayne was QLD's best player!!.

      Harden up princess, there was no malice and he deserves to play

      Commenter
      Please
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      May 30, 2014, 2:07PM
    • What do you mean if scott hadn't of come in? Scott was the first one in the tackle!

      Commenter
      Adam
      Date and time
      May 31, 2014, 12:23PM
  • Common sense prevails!

    Well done judiciary, not to be influenced by the press and Tate.

    Commenter
    Phil
    Date and time
    May 29, 2014, 8:05PM
    • The trouble is they were not influenced either by the evidence. It was a very dangerous tackle. The game will suffer because of this. As I have said before, if you want illegal thuggery go play pantball. Tate is already carrying a neck brace. Reynolds' deserved to be rubbed out for at least three and the SOR!

      Commenter
      Clive
      Location
      Manly West
      Date and time
      May 30, 2014, 9:51AM
    • There must be a different definition of common sense in NSW than everywhere else. I guess you only have to visit Sydney to find that out.

      Commenter
      steve
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      May 30, 2014, 10:12AM
    • @Phil: Agreed. Tate landed flat on his back, and never looked like going head first into anything other than a press interview.

      @Clive: Poor Tate carrying a neck injury. A normal human would retire from the game instead of trying to garner sympathy for his permanent injury. What a fool he is.

      Commenter
      Mike Henshaw
      Location
      Wollongong
      Date and time
      May 30, 2014, 11:17AM

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