Bulldogs may fight Graham, Klemmer charges

Written By Unknown on Senin, 06 April 2015 | 20.01

NRL: Canterbury's loss to South Sydney has been further compounded with three players including James Graham, David Klemmer and Sam Kasiano facing lengthy suspensions.

David Klemmer and James Graham confront referee Gerard Sutton. Source: Getty Images

BULLDOGS officials were locked in discussions on Monday night about whether to fight the Good Friday charges levelled at four of their players, including a potential five-week suspension for skipper James Graham.

The NRL match review committee didn't muck around with the Bulldogs, slamming Graham with a grade-three contrary conduct charge for his ugly blow-up with referee Gerard Sutton.

The skipper was also hit with a grade-two dangerous contact charge after he took out the legs of Adam Reynolds — and ultimately injured his knee — in the dying moments of the South Sydney clash as he tried to prevent a field goal.

David Klemmer also faces up to four weeks on the sidelines should he fight the grade-three contrary conduct charge after he told Sutton, "you're off your f. king face, mate''.

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David Klemmer and James Graham confront referee Gerard Sutton. Source: Getty Images

Should Canterbury fight the contrary conduct charges — and try to shave time off any potential punishment for Graham and Klemmer — it could prove an ugly PR exercise for the club, especially given they've already expressed their disappointment at the players' on-field behaviour.

Bulldogs boss Raelene Castle told The Daily Telegraph via text message: "We are making no comment until we have thoroughly reviewed all the charges.''

Michael Lichaa was charged with a grade-one contrary conduct charge for also taking verbal aim at Sutton — he won't miss any game time with an early plea — while Sam Kasiano copped a grade-two dangerous contact charge for coming down on Issac Luke with his knees.

Souths big bopper George Burgess also received a grade-one dangerous contact charge for collecting Josh Jackson with his knees and will miss a game. However, Burgess' grading was less than Kasiano because the contact wasn't as severe.

Should James Graham and David Klemmer fight the charges?

While Canterbury coach Des Hasler weighs up how to approach the charges, he'll also have to find a number of replacements for injured pair Brett Morris and Tim Lafai. Morris will miss up to three weeks with a hamstring injury, while Lafai will be out the next two months with a medial ligament strain of his knee.

There has been no shortage of headlines since last Friday's 18-17 thriller between the Bunnies and Bulldogs, with Graham and Klemmer's confrontation of referee Sutton the focal point.

The last well-known blow-up involving a big player and whistleblower was Johnathan Thurston, who dropped no shortage of expletives during a heated exchange with referee Jason Robinson in 2010. Thurston beat the detrimental conduct charge on appeal.

Roosters backrower Aiden Guerra was another player charged by the match review committee for his dangerous throw on Chris Heighington. But Guerra is expected to be sidelined for the next six weeks because of a broke jaw.


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