Impounded Canterbury Bulldogs to benefit other teams
ST GEORGE-ILLAWARRA and a desperate Manly will be the big beneficiaries of the NRL's judiciary impounding Bulldogs trio James Graham, David Klemmer and Sam Kasiano.
The trio were yesterday suspended following Canterbury's disgraceful referee bashing during South Sydney's controversial 19-18 penalty-goal win last weekend.
Graham will miss four games against the Dragons, Manly, Wests Tigers and Cowboys.
He entered early guilty pleas to two charges - a grade-three contrary conduct offence for abusing Sutton, and grade-two dangerous contact charge of attacking the legs on Souths halfback Adam Reynolds who it appears likely to be sidelined for only miss four to five weeks after it was feared it may be closer to four or five months.
Klemmer, also charged with a grade-three contrary conduct offence, will miss three games after 93 carryover points were added to his 292 points from his most recent misdemeanour.
Hooker Michael Lichaa, who was investigated for allegedly calling the referee a "dog", will not miss a game after copping the early guilty plea.
However, Kasiano's early plea to a dangerous contact charge over an incident with Souths hooker Isaac Luke means he will miss two weeks.
And adding to coach Des Hasler's worst nightmare was confirmation the club's Origin fullback Brett Morris (hamstring) and centre Tim Lafai (medial ligament) are both facing several weeks or more on the sidelines.
Hasler struggled to come up with a 17-man squad naming Tim Browne to start for Graham with Lloyd Perrett and Antonio Kaufusi getting call-ups to the bench for Klemmer and Kasiano.
The injury to Morris will see Sam Perrett return to fullback with Corey Thompson taking his place on the wing.
The other change will see Moses Mbye come into the centres for Lafai. Josh Reynolds moves to the No.6 and Chase Stanley gets a run off the bench.
The injury to Morris, which potentially could keep him off the field for up to 10-12 weeks, is a real blow to the Bulldogs.
Meanwhile several other players who attracted the attention of the NRL's Match Review committee, including Tigers prop Aaron Woods and Eels fullback Will Hopoate will also be free to play this weekend after accepting discounts for early guilty pleas.