Victor Radley’s aggressive play style was supported by his Sydney Roosters teammates as NSW Origin hopefully fought to bring a five-game ban on the NRL judiciary down to two weeks.
Radley and reigning blues second rower Angus Crichton will fight charges on Tuesday evening that threaten their hopes for the country of origin to varying degrees.
Radley, who was banned from the Origin opener on June 9, is aiming for a downgrade to a high tackle fee that puts his hopes on his debut for NSW in the second game.
He will try to reduce the high tackle against Tevita Pangai Junior to first class, which means a combined two-game ban.
However, if he fails in justice, his suspension period will increase to five weeks and expel him from Origin II.
On Tuesday morning, Rooster’s teammates James Tedesco and Josh Morris defended their fire lock, saying they were frustrated with the possible severity of Radley’s punishment.
“I don’t think he deserves five weeks. It’s a tough question,” said Morris, pointing to inconsistencies in the way the NRL’s approach to head contact on the field is being decided.
“We have players a month ago who do similar things and don’t even get a penalty, and now we have players who get 10 in the trash and get two or three weeks.
“I don’t want Victor to change the way he plays. I love playing alongside Victor.
“You know what you’re going to get week after week.
“He may have to change his technique a little, but I don’t want him to change the way he plays.”
Adley, 23, has made four notable reports and Sin was lost twice to Brisbane on Saturday night in what could now cost him an Origin jersey.
“He’s as frustrated as you are,” said Roosters and NSW skipper Tedesco.
“We all love the winner and the way he plays, he doesn’t go out on purpose to hit people in the head, he just plays aggressively.
The story goes on
“I’m sorry for him. He goes out there and gives everything for our team and it’s just disappointing.
“His tackle, he hits her in the shoulder and hops up so it’s difficult to comment on because I know the rules are really strict on this and you can’t make contact.
“He knows he’s let himself down, but we don’t want him to stop playing that way because that’s why everyone loves him and loves to play with him.”
Crichton is hoping for a not guilty verdict on his dangerous contact fee so he can play freely on the Origin kickoff. The teams will be selected on Sunday.