Eels' forward Brown loses at NRL judiciary

Darren Walton
Parramatta's Nathan Brown (L) will serve another two-game NRL ban, failing in a judiciary bid

A robust defence from gun lawyer Nick Ghabar has failed to save Parramatta enforcer Nathan Brown at the NRL judiciary.

Brown will miss Saturday's night's bumper clash with Canberra and next week's round-eight game against North Queensland after failing to have a careless high tackle charge downgraded on Tuesday night.

Appearing via video link, Brown was found guilty of a grade-two high shot on Sydney Roosters lock Victor Radley on Saturday night and rubbed out for two matches.

It is Brown's second two-game suspension of a season, just six rounds old, after the 27-year-old was outed for dangerous contact before coronavirus forced the suspension of the competition in March.

Boasting an enviable record in getting some of league's biggest names off at the tribunal, most notably Billy Slater's case to have the retired Melbourne superstar free to play the 2018 grand final, Ghabar did his level best for Brown.

He produced footage of grade-one careless high tackles from Radley on Parramatta's Clint Gutherson earlier in the same game and one from Eels centre Waqa Blake on Manly hooker Danny Levi in round three to try to convince the judiciary panel that Brown's tackle "could not possibly have been twice as bad".

Ghabar argued his client was attempting a traditional wrapping tackle with an open hand, unlike Blake jumping "wildly into" his with a "clenched fist and swinging arm".

The smooth-talking barrister noted how Blake's "relatively significant contact" forced Levi to drop the ball and also claimed Radley's tackle on Gutherson left the Parramatta skipper's head recoiling backwards.

Ghabar put it the panel that because said there wasn't heavy force, merely glancing contact, that Brown's tackle was a low-level offence with less chance of injuring Radley than the other two comparable tackles presented.

But the the three-man panel of Sean Garlick, Ben Creagh and Bob Lindner, who was adjudicating remotely, was having none of it, taking less than 15 minutes to find Brown guilty.

NRL counsel Peter McGrath said the fact Brown's forearm struck Radley "flush on the jaw" proved it was a more serious offence.

"This distinguishes it from the more grabbing or wrapping-type tackles by player Radley or player Blake. It is a more serious example of a careless high tackle," McGrath said.

"There is a higher degree of unacceptable risk of injury."

The panel agreed.