NRL: Matulino faces three-game ban

Ben Matulino will get a three-game stand-down if he accepts the latest charge. Photo / Getty
Ben Matulino will get a three-game stand-down if he accepts the latest charge. Photo / Getty

As if the Warriors and their coach Andrew McFadden don't have enough to deal with, a problem with suspension-prone test prop Ben Matulino's tackling has reared its head again.

The Warriors will be without Matulino when they attempt to break their 10-game NRL losing streak against the Melbourne Storm on Sunday, after the club's 2015 player of the year was cited for a shoulder charge on giant Brisbane wing Corey Oates.

Matulino was suspended late last year for a hit on the Dragons' Gareth Widdop, just after an NRL crackdown on shoulder charges. It is the third season in a row that the forward has transgressed - he was also suspended in 2014 for a hit on the Bulldogs' outstanding English prop James Graham.

Matulino will get a three-game stand-down if he accepts the latest charge. The Warriors were unhappy over last year's charge but they backed away from contesting it for fear he would cop a five game suspension with so much focus on shoulder charges at the time.

While Warriors chief executive Jim Doyle has done his best to take the heat off McFadden, there is continual media speculation about his future and upcoming games against the Storm, Knights and Roosters are seen as crucial to his survival.

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- NZ Herald

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