NSW’s Klemmer denies Fittler bad blood

UPDATE at 12:25 PM | NSW prop David Klemmer denies he was angry with Blues coach Brad Fittler after initially being overlooked for the State of Origin decider.

Klemmer was on Wednesday rushed down the M1 from Newcastle to Bondi to join his NSW teammates in camp after Tariq Sims was suspended at the NRL judiciary for a high shot on Michael Morgan.

Despite being arguably the best front-rower in the game, Klemmer was controversially left out of Fittler’s side before being drafted in.


ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT


“I wouldn’t say I was angry,” Klemmer said. “It’s a part of sport.

“I was a bit heartbroken, but so you should. There would have been something wrong with me if I wasn’t upset.

“I know how much this jersey means to me and my family and I’m just happy to be back here playing footy.”

Sims was suspended for one game after being found guilty of dangerous contact on North Queensland star Morgan last Friday.

The three-man judiciary panel of Mal Cochrane, Bob Lindner and Dallas Johnson took almost an hour to give their verdict in a hearing that lasted two-and-a-half hours.

A heartbroken Sims offered a short statement afterwards.

“Obviously not a great outcome for myself but I’d just like to thank the panel for their time,” Sims said afterwards.

“Obviously it’s a bit of an emotional time for myself, so I’m just going to take time away now and just be with my family and daughters.”

The 29-year-old will also be unable to play for St George Illawarra in their NRL match against Melbourne on Thursday because he was not included in their line-up on Tuesday.

The Dragons were unable to name their left back-rower because of his selection for the Blues, meaning his next game will be against Canberra on Sunday week.

Sims was initially facing a three-game suspension for his grade-two charge, although could’ve escaped a ban if he downgraded to a grade one.

He instead gambled on getting off the charge entirely, and lost.

Once the panel found Sims guilty, the Dragons successfully downgraded the charge to a grade-one, freeing him to take on the Raiders in round 17.

© AAP 2019 

UPDATE at 9:55 AM | DAVID Klemmer is set to be rushed into the NSW camp for the State of Origin decider on Wednesday morning after Tariq Sims’ devastating night at the NRL judiciary.

Sims was suspended for one game after being found guilty of dangerous contact on North Queensland star Michael Morgan last Friday.

The three-man panel of Mal Cochrane, Bob Lindner and Dallas Johnson took almost an hour to give their verdict in a hearing that lasted two-and-a-half hours.

A heartbroken Sims offered a short statement afterwards.

“Obviously not a great outcome for myself but I’d just like to thank the panel for their time,” Sims said afterwards.

“Obviously it’s a bit of an emotional time for myself, so I’m just going to take time away now and just be with my family and daughters.”

The 29-year-old will also be unable to play in St George Illawarra’s match against Melbourne on Thursday because he was not included in their line-up on Tuesday.

The Dragons were unable to name their left back-rower because of his selection for the Blues, meaning his next game will be against Canberra on Sunday week.

Sims was initially facing a three-game suspension for his grade-two charge, although could’ve escaped a ban if he downgraded to a grade one.

He instead gambled on getting off the charge entirely, and lost.

Once the panel found Sims guilty, the Dragons successfully downgraded the charge to a grade-one, freeing him to take on the Raiders in round 17.

Klemmer’s likely inclusion comes after his shock omission from the NSW team on game night, having successfully returned from a wrist injury on Sunday.

The Newcastle star was one of their best in their win over Brisbane, producing a game-high 210 metres and 34 tackles without missing.

It remains to be seen whether Blues coach Brad Fittler will opt to insert Klemmer into the run-on side, with Knights teammate Daniel Saifiti slated to wear the No.8.

© AAP 2019 

FIRST at 7:30 AM | NSW forward Tariq Sims is out of the State of Origin decider after being found guilty of dangerous contact at the NRL judiciary on Tuesday night.

The decision means game-one player David Klemmer is all but certain to be rushed into the squad to face Queensland on July 10.

Sims was facing a three-game suspension after being originally charged with a grade-two dangerous contact charge by the match review committee.

However St George Illawarra successfully downgraded the charge to a grade one after the initial verdict, meaning Sims will only miss the Origin game.

He will also be unable to play in the Dragons’ game against Melbourne on Thursday because he wasn’t named on Tuesday.

Ironically, Sims would’ve been able to take his place for the Blues at ANZ Stadium had he initially sought a downgrade and accepted the early guilty plea.

Instead the heartbroken 29-year-old misses his chance at the decider.

“Obviously not a great outcome for myself but I’d just like to thank the panel for their time,” Sims said in a short statement afterwards.

“Obviously it’s a bit of an emotional time for myself, so I’m just going to take time away now and just be with my family and daughters.”

The three-man panel of Mal Cochrane, Dallas Johnson and Bob Lindner took 54 minutes to reach their verdict in a hearing that lasted over two-and-a-half hours.

That lengthy deliberation matches the time it took to find former Melbourne star Billy Slater not guilty of dangerous contact prior to last year’s grand final.

NRL counsel Peter McGrath argued that not only was the shot slightly late, but more importantly, Sims came into direct contact with Morgan’s head.

The Cowboys star was forced from the field after the incident and subsequently ruled out for the rest of the match with concussion.

“It was direct contact to the head, it was high, and in circumstances where the player has passed the ball,” McGrath told the panel.

“Lateness is an element, but not a particularly important one in this incident. What we are dealing with is direct contact with the playmaker’s head.

“There was forceful contact, forceful enough for player Morgan not only to be taken from the field but to take no further part in the game.

“It was slightly late, but that’s not the be-all and end-all.”

At various points throughout the hearing, Sims gave mixed answers as to whether he had any contact with Morgan’s head.

However after being cross-examined by McGrath, defence counsel James McLeod asked whether the contact was in fact incidental.

“I think at some stage there might have been,” Sims said.

The case came less than a week after the NRL instructed referees to crack down on late shots on playmakers, as well as crusher tackles.

© AAP 2019