PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 18: Siosiua Taukeiaho of the Roosters is placed on report and sent to the Sin Bin by referee Ashley Klein during the round 15 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Sydney Roosters at Panthers Stadium, on June 18, 2021, in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

As a result from Tuesday' night judiciary hearing, Roosters prop Siosiua Taukeiaho has been cleared of a grade-one careless high tackle, while Dragons winger Mikaele Ravalawa has copped a four-match suspension after unsuccessfully challenging a shoulder charge, according to

The three-man independent panel that represents the NRL judiciary apparently took 10 minutes to hand down their not-guilty verdict for Taukeiaho.

The Sydney Roosters forward came into Tuesday night's judiciary hearing challenging a grade one careless high tackle on Penrith Panthers halfback Nathan Cleary.

While Taukeiaho's charge would not have incurred a suspension regardless of the decision handed down, he would have received an extra $550 on top of the $1700 he would have been fined if he had pleaded guilty.

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This decision marks a happy day for fans all around the league, as it confirms that there is such thing as 'too far' when it comes to the degree to which referees and the judiciary look to penalise dangerous tackles in the modern game.

The tackle in question, which occurred at the 22-minute mark of the Roosters' Round 15 loss against the Panthers, saw Cleary step off his right foot into a wet and rainy BlueBet Stadium turf, slipping and having his head caught by Taukeiaho's right shoulder as he fell.

Taukeiaho proceeded to be sin-binned and placed on report. Dismay regarding the decision from referee Ashley Klein was nearly immediate, with Nine commentator Phil Gould saying: "No mitigating circumstances? It's slippery as hell out there. Anyway, that's the new world."

What was potentially more telling and what likely prompted Taukeiaho to challenge the grade one charge, which teams rarely do if it's just a fine, was Cleary telling the media following the game that he "fell into" the collision.

The defense counsel for Taukeiaho argued that while contact was made with the head, likely exaggerating the nature of the incident and response from the referee, within the small timeframe with which Cleary slipped and contact was made he was unable to adjust his motion and demonstrated care by withdrawing from the tackle as swiftly as possible.

With two prior similar charges, loading of his offence meant that St George Illawarra Dragons winger Mikaele Ravalawa was facing a three-week suspension with an early plea, but there was potential for an extra week if he challenged the grade one shoulder charge citation and was found unsuccessful.

WOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 23: Mikaele Ravalawa of the Dragons looks on during the NRL trail match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Newcastle Knights at WIN Stadium on February 23, 2019 in Wollongong, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

According to reports from the hearing, the judiciary found that Ravalawa had ample time to decide his method of tackle but chose to lead with his shoulder instead. It apparently took the Counsel less than five minutes to deliberate and find Ravalawa guilty of a shoulder charge.

Taukeiaho will be available for the Roosters' Round 16 matchup against the Storm when the teams return from Origin break, while Ravalawa should be available for the Dragons by Round 21.


  1. If I was the Dragons I would be heading to court over all 3 of Ravalawa’s suspensions. Not one of them was illegal and you can see it 20 times a game from other players that dont even get penalised. No idea why the NRL decide to pick on Ravalawa other than the fact he hits like a hammer.
    In every case he is bent at the hips and making contact with the ribs. These are textbook tackles which all coaches would say are of the highest calibre. He’s been suspended for not wrapping his arms. The shoulder charge rule was brought in to protect peoples heads. These tackles couldn’t be further from that.
    This is real dum dum stuff from the NRL and yet again shows the lack of sophistication at certain levels of the administration. Its the equivalent of fining somebody for sitting in a car without a seatbelt on when the car isnt even on. Dragons are easy targets. Would never happen to Roosters or Storm players.

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