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Koopu throws malice aside

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by fLIP, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. fLIP

    fLIP UFO Hunter

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    JOHNATHAN Thurston's bid to beat a dangerous throw charge at the National Rugby League judiciary tonight received a massive boost yesterday when New Zealand backrower Wairangi Koopu agreed to present a written statement on the star halfback's behalf.

    Both the Warriors and North Queensland camps were wary of disclosing any details of the thrust of their case. But it is understood the New Zealand club has agreed to send a report from team medical staff clearing Koopu of any injury and a further statement from Koopu himself reiterating that the incident did not warrant any further sanction.

    If Thurston fails, he will miss Saturday night's preliminary final against Manly at the Sydney Football Stadium.

    Warriors boss Wayne Scurrah confirmed yesterday he had been contacted by Cowboys chief executive Peter Parr looking for some support.

    "We accept that Johnathan isn't a dirty sort of player and we are happy to acknowledge there wasn't any malice or intent on his behalf," Scurrah said.

    "I think everyone wants to see Johnathan playing this weekend.

    "Obviously, I don't make the decisions at the judiciary and it isn't for me to say what is and isn't dangerous, but we certainly offered what support we could."

    The news from across the Tasman strengthened a belief from within the Cowboys camp that Thurston will be cleared of the grade one dangerous throw charge stemming from a fifth-minute tackle on Koopu in last Sunday's 49-12 elimination final win over the Warriors.

    Thurston, Parr and Cowboys assistant coach Grant Bell yesterday spoke for the first time in a telephone hook-up with leading Sydney barrister Geoff Bellew QC, who will represent Thurston tonight.

    A former chairman of the Northern Eagles and current Manly-Warringah leagues club director, Bellew has had much success over a long period at the NRL judiciary.

    "(The Cowboys) had put together some things we need and I will meet them again tomorrow for a few hours," Bellew said yesterday.

    "By that stage, I will have a better idea of what we are going to do. There are still some things we are gathering together."

    In May this year, Bellew successfully represented Manly centre Jamie Lyon, who was cleared of a dangerous throw charge allowing him to play the first Origin game.

    "Geoff is probably one of the best so I'd say he's got as good a chance as anyone of getting him off," Lyon said yesterday.

    He said there were no raised eyebrows among the Sea Eagles players when it became known that Thurston had asked Bellew to take his case.

    "Not really. He's a true professional," Lyon said. "I'm sure this has probably arisen in matches before but probably not to this extent (a preliminary final).

    "It's just the way the cards have fallen."

    Parr said he and Thurston left yesterday's meeting confident that they had a strong case to put before the judiciary panel.

    "I think all parties are pretty happy with how the case has come together," Parr said.

    "Everyone is very positive. We need to be at this time because there is still a long way to go.

    "There are no guarantees with these things, there never is. But I think JT is confident we can go there tomorrow night and clear his name."

    Thurston, Parr and Bell will arrive in Sydney early today for a meeting with Bellew. The rest of the squad, along with coach Graham Murray, assistant Ian Millward and football manager Kelly Egan, will travel tomorrow, before Saturday night's game.

    Coach Des Hasler said he was preparing his side as if Thurston was playing. He was quick to point out this was not an admission of the halfback's innocence or guilt.

    "I'm not going to comment on that," Hasler said. "It's out of our control. We'll push ahead this week thinking that he is going to play."

    Manly halfback Matt Orford said he would prefer to have Thurston playing.

    "For sure. You want to play every team at their strongest," Orford said.

    With Thurston missing from today's Townsville training session, the coaching staff is likely to explore alternatives at No7.
     
  2. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    If he gets of it's just plain disgusting. He had his hands around Koopu's legs and he was lifted above the horizontal, simple. Maybe with no malice but that isn't the grading of the charge. And Bellew is a rat for defending the indefensible.
     
  3. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    **** it has nothing to do with malice, nothing at all.
    It is a grade 1 charge, which means he didnt intend to, however it is still his responsibility not to put the player in that position.

    There is no excuse or possible way to get off, by the rules he requires a 1 match ban. Only way he can get off is if the rules no longer apply
     
  4. Ryan

    Ryan Well-Known Member

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    I am starting to get so sick and tired of this bloody topic !!!
     
  5. nodd

    nodd Well-Known Member

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    On nine news Brisbane , the good oil from- no names but someone in the know- is that Thurston will get off.

    This was reported at 6.25, so how could anyone know?

    Probably bull****- BUT ?????
     
  6. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    He got off. Judiciary is a joke. The issue was that the carry over points got him suspended on a charge that is normally no penalty with a guilty plea. And to think we lost a grand final due to a dudded decision on Jim Serdaris.
     

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