League: Reynolds' let-off big lift for NSW

By Ben Horne

Josh Reynolds. Photo / Richard Robinson
Josh Reynolds. Photo / Richard Robinson

NSW will attempt to end Queensland's State of Origin reign with their playmakers intact, after five-eighths Josh Reynolds successfully had his grade two dangerous throw charge downgraded at the NRL judiciary.

Reynolds' representative Nick Ghabar argued that fellow Blues' tackler Beau Scott significantly contributed to the dangerous position Queensland's Brent Tate was placed in during the tackle.

It took judiciary panel members Sean Garlick, Mick Vella and Paul Whatuira just under 10 minutes to agree that Reynolds' role in the dangerous nature of the incident was no worse than Scott's, who had received only a grade one charge.

Ghabar successfully argued that Scott had control of Tate as he was flung to the ground.

Reynolds escapes suspension entirely because of the discount he received for his early guilty plea, taking him down to 93 points, and he'll be free to take on Manly in Canterbury's next NRL match on June 6.

Scott, for his part, also gets off without punishment, after he had already taken the early guilty plea.

The result will have Queensland crying conspiracy, after two NSW players avoided penalty for a tackle victim Tate described as the most frightening he's experienced.

Either way, the NRL's supposed crackdown on dangerous lifting tackles following the Alex McKinnon tragedy is still veiled in confusion.

Reynolds, who sat alongside Canterbury coach Des Hasler, mouthed "yes" as the verdict was read out.

After the hearing, Reynolds was gagged from speaking by his club, but Bulldogs chief executive Raelene Castle expressed her relief and said Reynolds was not a player who intends to injure opponents.

"We're really pleased with the decision tonight," said Castle.

The decision is a major plus for NSW coach Laurie Daley who will have a key playmaker, and one of the major architects of Wednesday's 12-8 game one win on deck for Origin II on June 18 at ANZ Stadium, as NSW look to end Queensland's run of eight-straight series victories.

-AAP

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