MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 14: Nikola Cotric of the Raiders is attended to by a team trainer after being kicked in the face during the NRL Qualifying Final match between the Melbourne Storm and the Canberra Raiders at AAMI Park on September 14, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

It’s possible that Canberra could be without key trio Joseph Tapine, Jordan Rapana and Nick Cotric for their preliminary final clash in two weeks time.

Tapine appears to have escaped suspension despite getting hit with a grade-one charge for an incident involving Melbourne’s Brandon Smith in Saturday night’s clash.

“It was accidental. Brendon’s arm went back a bit and they said report for chicken wing. We’ll have a look at it, there was no intention or anything, he’s a good mate,” Tapine told The Sydney Morning Herald. 

He can escape a ban with an early guilty plea.

Rapana was reported for a lifting tackle on Cameron Munster, but is confident he will not get suspended.

“We talked about about how Melbourne were trying to stand in the tackles and I just tried to lift him up and bum-rush him you know, drag him back and he must have got caught in a dangerous position,” Rapana said.

“Personally I don’t think it was bad at all. I couldn’t see his head at the time so I got worried for a little bit that I might get sent off. But then when I re-watched it I thought that was a bit soft.

“I don’t think I’ll miss a week. I’ll be pissed off if I do and I’ll be telling Stick [coach Ricky Stuart] to go in firing if it has to go to the tribunal but surely not.”

Cotric accidentally copped Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen’s boot to his face in the first half, breaking his nose and failing a failed a head injury assessment.

He didn’t return to he game.

Raiders centre Joey Leilua was unable to start the game after a piece of black pyrotechnic shell from the fireworks went into his eye while running onto the field.

However, club medicos removed the shell, clearing him to play off the bench.


  1. If they were playing the roosters the MRC would have charged them and the judiciary end their season the most likely to happen.

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