'Utter disgrace': NRL world in disbelief over 'stuffed' judiciary call

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The Roosters' Sam Verrills (pictured) making a tackle against the Titans.
The Roosters' Sam Verrills (pictured left) was hit with a two-match ban after this shoulder contact on the weekend. (Images: Fox Sports)

NRL commentator Andrew Voss has labelled the decision to hand Roosters No.9 Sam Verrills a two-game ban for a shoulder charge a 'joke' after Junior Paulo got off for what appeared to be a more serious incident.

On Tuesday, the Roosters found out they will be forced to rely on a third-string hooker to get them to the grand final after Verrills was banned for two games at the NRL judiciary.

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In a horror night for the Roosters, Verrills failed in his bid to have his careless high tackle charge downgraded to a fine.

The Roosters No.9 dropped his head in disappointment when the verdict was read, knowing he will miss Friday's semi-final against Manly.

Verrills could have accepted a one-game ban for the charge but his bid to downgrade it from a level-two to a grade-one has proven costly.

On the weekend, the No.9 stood his ground in the tackle as the Titans' Brian Kelly fell into the tackle.

In an 80-minute hearing, Verrills' legal team argued the dummy-half had minimal culpability for collecting Gold Coast centre Kelly's face.

Lawyer James McLeod claimed the shot was almost a without-blame rugby league incident, stating the force was caused by Kelly and Verrills' teammate Sitili Tupouniua.

Verrills did not speak during the hearing, but watched on via video link as McLeod claimed Kelly had fallen into his shoulder after charging at the line hard and deflecting off Tupouniua.

After the two-game ban, the rugby league world exploded with disbelief.

Veteran NRL reporter Phil Rothfield labelled the decision an 'utter disgrace'.

This sentiment was backed up by NRL commentator Andrew Voss.

Voss let rip at the NRL judiciary system and labelled the process 'stuffed' after watching Verrills suspended and Paulo walk free.

“If what Sam Verrills did really is a two-game ban offence, why would the referee not sin bin him during the game? Why would the bunker believe he shouldn’t be binned?” Voss wrote for SEN.

“The system is stuffed, it is absolutely stuffed.”

Voss called for a judiciary system overhaul after the decision after the 'joke' decision, which leaves the Roosters reeling against their must-win clash against Manly.

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Many others also thought Verrills' suspension was harsh in context with Paulo's.

Verrills will also skip the preliminary final against South Sydney if they win, meaning he will only return if they reach the October 3 decider.

It means Trent Robinson will likely have to turn to rookie No.9 Ben Marschke, who began the year outside the Roosters' top 30 and behind Jake Friend and Verrills.

It comes after the Roosters had already lost representative prop Siosiua Taukeiaho because of a calf complaint.

McLeod also claimed a hit from Junior Paulo in Parramatta's win over Newcastle had showed less control when he collected Kurt Mann high, only to cop a lesser grade-one charge.

The defence also made an emotional plea to the three-man panel of Ben Creagh, Bob Lindner and Dallas Johnson to understand the contact as men who had played the game.

with AAP

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