Justin Hodges has been cleared to play in this weekend’s NRL Grand Final after the judiciary found him not guilty of a suspected dangerous tackle.
The 33-year-old Brisbane Broncos captain appealed to the NRL judiciary last night after the match review committee charged him with a grade-one dangerous throw on Sydney Roosters player Aidan Guerra, in last weekend’s preliminary final.
Hodges appeal was successful, meaning he will take his spot in the centre this Sunday against the North Queensland Cowboys.
Guerra was present at last night’s hearing to help with the decision of Hodges future. While addressing the media, he admitted that he was simply going with the game momentum.
“I thought I was a chance of gaining a penalty,” Guerra said. “It’s sort of clear what I was aiming to get out of it. I wasn’t really thinking about the repercussions for me personally, it was more about the momentum of the game.”
Hodges was relieved with the outcome and has been given a second chance to end his 15 year NRL career with a premiership win.
“The past few days have been tough and today felt like the longest day and I just want to thank everyone for giving me a fair trial,” Hodges said after the decision had been handed down. “[I’m] just relieved that I get to finish one more game. To be honest, I just want to get through tonight. It’s been a tough day, just not knowing the outcome.” – Ellen Conroy
Top photo of Justin Hodges, who has survived a judiciary scare after Friday night’s semi-final. Photo from Brisbane Bronco’s Official Facebook page.