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Two-game ban forces Raider Tapine to rethink his approach

Raiders enforcer Joe Tapine concedes he may have to temper his aggressive approach to the game after failing to overturn a two-game suspension at the judiciary, just three weeks after serving his last ban.

Tapine was found guilty of a dangerous lifting tackle on Canterbury's Michael Lichaa in last week's come-from-behind thriller at Belmore, which kept Canberra three wins behind the eighth-placed Warriors.

Already without fullback Jack Wighton (stood down on disciplinary grounds), his replacement Brad Abbey (concussion) and Shannon Boyd (calf), Tapine's scratching from Saturday's clash against the Cowboys is another blow for the Raiders in their scramble to stay in top-eight contention.

The Kiwi international sat out two games for a shoulder charge on Dragons fullback Matt Dufty in May, with carry-over points from three offences in the last two years also contributing to his latest suspension.

"There's certain parts of my game that do need a look at, but I definitely don't want to lose my aggression," Tapine told

"That's definitely still a part of rugby league, and it's the main part of my game. It's a fine balance, I've just got to tweak some aspects of my game and get back to training now."

As the third man into the tackle on Lichaa along with teammates Sia Soliola and Josh Hodgson, Tapine's lifting of the Bulldogs hooker's legs was found to be careless by a three-man judiciary panel of Tony Puletua, Sean Garlick and Bob Lindner after a seven-minute deliberation.

NRL counsel Peter McGrath successfully argued that Tapine had "substantially contributed" to "putting Lichaa in a vulnerable position", which saw his head and neck make first contact with the Belmore turf.
Lichaa was forced from the field for a HIA, but later returned to the game and has been named for Canterbury this weekend.

Tapine's guilty verdict will not see him miss any extra game time, with a two-match suspension already on the cards if he had taken the early guilty.

He will now miss both this week's home clash with North Queensland and Canberra's round 19 trip to Cronulla, and also carry another 45 carry-over points against his name.

Prop Liam Knight or uncapped rookie Jack Murchie loom as the most likely replacements among Ricky Stuart's 21-man squad.

Dragons forward Hame Sele was charged with a dangerous throw earlier in the round.

Sele's 29th-minute challenge on Storm winger Young Tonumaipea attracted a grade one charge, which carries 100 demerit points.

Sele has no prior offences or loading and will avoid a ban after entering early plea.


Player Joseph Tapine
Club Raiders
Time Minute of Match 26th minute
Charge / Incident Dangerous contact
Charge Grade 1
Result Guilty at panel
Points/Fine calculation 160 + 85 = 245
Matches to Serve 2
Carry-over Points 45
Misconduct on Whom? Michael Lichaa


Player Hame Sele
Club Dragons
Time Minute of Match 29th minute
Charge / Incident Dangerous throw
Charge Grade 1
Result Guilty - early plea
Matches to serve 0
Points/fine calculation 75
Carry-over points 75
Misconduct on Whom? Young Tonumaipea
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