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Competition - NRL Premiership - Play NRL Round

Round - Round 03

Teams – St George Illawarra Dragons v South Sydney Rabbitohs

Date – 20th or March 2016

Venue – SCG Stadium Sydney, NSW

Photographer – Grant Trouville

Description –

By Jack Brady (

Dragons back-rower Joel Thompson has been successful in downgrading his careless high tackle on Rooster Aidan Guerra from a grade two to a grade one and will only miss the Red V's clash against the Warriors on Sunday. 

Thompson's one-game suspension means he remains available for Country Origin selection on May 8. 

Defensive council Nick Ghabar successfully argued to judiciary panellists Matt Cooper, Mal Cochrane and Sean Garlick that Thompson's tackle was one where he attempted to wrap his arm around Guerra – which was reason for a successful downgrade.

Not arguing for the Dragons player's innocence, Ghabar also said Guerra's head came into contact with Thompson's biceps meaning contact was significantly lessened in comparison to other "bonier" parts of the arm. 

"I'm very happy. I felt very confident coming in here," Thompson said.  

"I wasn't planning on doing that. It was a wrapping tackle so I knew we had a strong case there and I was happy with the result. 

"I felt it was strange that I got charged. It was a wrapping tackle and I wasn't expected to be charged.

"When somebody told me I had to go to the judiciary for the tackle I was a bit shocked [but] it was a fair hearing and they're just doing their job."

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Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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