Greenberg: Justin Hodges case will lead to review of players
NRL boss Todd Greenberg concedes the furore over the Justin Hodges judiciary case will lead to a review of players potentially missing grand finals because of low-grade offences.
While Brisbane fans were celebrating the decision by a three-man NRL judiciary to drop a grade one dangerous tackle charge against the Broncos veteran, who will now have a shot at a farewell fairytale against North Queensland on Sunday, others were protesting vigorously, saying other players had missed the big game because of suspension.
Greenberg stood by the judiciary, however, saying it had listened to evidence, which included a personal appearance by Roosters forward and Hodges's Queensland Origin teammate Aidan Guerra, that he deliberately dived forward in a tackle in a bid to milk a penalty.
"Whichever way the result went there was going to be heavy debate," Greenberg said.
"If he had missed the grand final there would have been just as much debate."
A rule stating that if the victim of a tackle, in this case Guerra, admits liability by saying he contributed to the offence, the charged can be dropped, played into Hodges' hands.
South Sydney hooker Issac Luke and Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith have both missed recent grand finals after being suspended for illegal offences in the lead-up.
But Greenberg said Hodges' case was "a little unique".
"It's hard to be critical when a player is judge by his peers after they hear all the mitigating circumstances," he said.