Queensland now facing NRL judiciary woes

·3-min read

Moeaki Fotuaika and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui's Queensland State of Origin hopes rest in the hands of the NRL judiciary after being involved in a lifting tackle.

The Gold Coast pair completed a tackle that went wrong in the Titans' horror first half against Cronulla, when they up-ended Shark Toby Rudolf.

With Rudolf running the ball off his own line from a kick-off, the prop met Fa'asuamaleaui and Mitch Rein before Fotuaika came in late.

It prompted Rudolf to be placed well beyond the horizontal, with referee Chris Sutton putting the tackle on report.

If Fotuaika is rubbed out, it would shape as a crucial blow for the Maroons.

They have already lost prop Josh Papalii to suspension, while Lindsay Collins is out for the season with a knee injury.

Fotuaika appeared certain to be picked after debuting last year, while fellow middle forward Christian Welch is also battling a swollen knee.

Fa'asuamaleaui is a lock for the Maroons, however would be less likely to face a serious charge based on the tackle.

A grade-one charge for either player would result in a fine, with both players eligible after not picking up more than two previous offences this year.

But a grade-two or worse would mean at least a two-game ban.

The Maroons already have Felise Kaufusi appearing before the panel on Tuesday night in a bid to beat a tripping charge.

Newcastle second-rower Tyson Frizell then looked to be the next man to wait on the judiciary to determine his availability, after hitting Martin Taupau high.

But in the end it mattered little, as the second-rower ended the game in a moon boot and out of Origin I after suffering an ankle injury.

Blues coach Brad Fittler had earlier breathed a massive sigh of relief on the lack of charges from Saturday's games.

The judiciary deemed Cameron Murray did not need to be charged over a crusher tackle on Blake Ferguson, deciding there was no excessive flexion and other players had contributed to the tackle.

Murray is free to play in the series opener, alongside fellow Blues backrower Isaah Yeo who can take a fine for a high shot on Matt Doorey.

Parramatta's Nathan Brown escaped any charge after being placed on report twice for crusher tackles in the Eels' loss to the Rabbitohs' on Saturday.

Ryan Matterson is also free to face Newcastle next week after receiving a fine sanction for a high shot despite being sent to the sin bin for his offence.

It came on a mixed day for the Eel, who was set to be overlooked for Blues selection.

Cody Walker also experienced the same feelings, escaping a charge for a high shot on Jake Arthur while losing his NSW jersey.

Likely Queensland hooker Reed Mahoney was put on report for a dangerous contact after a high shot on Tevita Tatola, but avoided a charge.

Penrith prop Moses Leota wasn't so lucky, looking at a one-game ban for his shot on Jake Averillo and all but ending his faint hopes as a Blues bolter.