As it happened: Canterbury Bulldogs v Penrith Panthers
Canterbury forward Josh Jackson says there was “no intent” in the ugly lifting tackle which threatens to rub him out of the State of Origin decider at Suncorp Stadium.
Jackson and fellow Canterbury forward Greg Eastwood upended Penrith playmaker Jamie Soward and planted him into the ANZ Stadium turf in Des Hasler’s 300th game as a head coach. The 22nd minute incident was placed on report and threatens to rob Jackson of his place in the NSW line up.
“It’s just one of those things mate, it happens in the game,” Jackson said.
“Obviously there was no intent there but it happened, so it’s in the hands of the match review committee now.”
Asked if Eastwood’s involvement in the tackle contributed to Soward’s awkward landing, Jackson said:
“I haven’t seen the tackle again. We’ll sit down and, like I said, it’s out of my hands. I can’t do anything about it. There was no intent, I apologised after it. It’s out of my hands …
“You don’t want to miss any games, I don’t want to miss a game for the Bulldogs let alone alone sit at home and miss an Origin game. That’s all I can say.”
Hasler predicted Jackson would have a case to answer, but believed any sanction shouldn’t cost him an interstate match.
“I think there’ll be an issue with the tackle the way it’s interpreted these days,” Hasler said.
“I’ll have a look at it later but the legs went past the horizontal, so there’s grade one. But his record’s pretty good, Jacko. So let’s hope a grade one will suffice in this instance.”
Should Jackson be unavailable, Blues coach Laurie Daley will likely turn to Tariq Sims or Tyson Frizell, who have spent time in camp during the preparations for the opening games.
Josh Reynolds, despite a stint in the sin bin for a professional foul, was one of the standout players in Canterbury’s decisive victory. The former Blues pivot scored a try and added plenty of spark in the clash between the western Sydney rivals.
That’s the typical way Josh plays, he brings an energy,” Hasler said.
“I thought both halves had their moments tonight.”
Hodkinson was rested following his Origin heroics at the MCG and Hasler now has the welcome headache of trying to fit three playmakers into the 17 that take on the Storm next Monday in the ‘return to Belmore clash’.
“There’s a couple of games to be played at Belmore and it’s looking a treat so it will be a great occasion and one worth celebrating,” Hasler said.
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