Bulldogs enforcer Luke Thompson will miss the opening 4 weeks of the 2021 season after being discovered responsible of a careless eye gouge on Penrith skipper James Tamou.
Thompson was despatched on to the judiciary on Tuesday evening for a watch gouge throughout Canterbury’s 42-Zero loss to the Panthers final Saturday afternoon.
It took 167 minutes for the judiciary to search out Thompson responsible, with the three-man panel of Ben Creagh, Bob Lindner and Sean Garlick claiming the Bulldogs ahead acted carelessly.
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Not even Tamou admitting to mendacity about his on-field criticism was in a position to clear Thompson’s identify.
The Panthers captain, who’s getting ready for Friday evening’s qualifying ultimate in opposition to the Roosters, was keen to place his integrity underneath a microscope, claiming he solely made an on-field criticism to referee Henry Perenara to get a penalty.
“I felt one thing across the face, so I assumed I’d make a declare so the referee would give us a penalty,” Tamou stated by way of a stay video hyperlink.
“On the time I hoped for a penalty, however I don’t assume it was a watch gouge.
“If I assumed Luke would go into the following sport with the intent to do some harm, I wouldn’t be right here tonight … I don’t imagine he had any intent to injure me.”
NRL council Peter McGrath argued the Bulldogs ahead knew what he was doing as he positioned his fingers on Tamou’s eyes.
Thompson was adamant he didn’t intentionally contact the face of the Penrith captain, however the panel didn’t agree.
“I wasn’t even conscious of what (Tamou) was complaining about,” Thompson stated.
“I used to be attempting to recover from (Tamou’s) shoulder … I didn’t realise I used to be touching his face.”
Though the Bulldogs ahead was discovered responsible, the panel discovered his actions have been on the decrease finish of the dimensions.
Thompson gained’t be free to play till the Bulldogs’ Spherical 5 match subsequent season, which is a large blow for the membership that enters a brand new period underneath the teaching of Trent Barrett.
The Englishman, who joined the Bulldogs from St Helens this 12 months, will likely be aiming for a extra constant 2021 season after struggling to adapt to the NRL this 12 months.