SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 31: Sam Verrills of the Roosters celebrates with team mates after scoring a try during the round 24 NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Penrith Panthers at Sydney Cricket Ground on August 31, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The Sydney Roosters will go into this weekend's semi-final against the Manly Sea Eagles without hooker Sam Verrills after he was controversially suspended for two weeks.

Verrills was pinged with a Grade 2 high tackle charge for a shot on Brian Kelly during last weekend's elimination final against the Gold Coast Titans.

The 22-year-old fought the charge, hoping to get a downgrade which would have enabled him to receive a fine, like Parramatta's Junior Paulo, instead of being suspended this weekend.

His defence hinged on similarities between the two tackles, however, Verrills couldn't convince the judiciary panel, who found him guilty and suspended him for two matches.

NRL Rd 2 - Titans v Eels
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 22: Junior Paulo of the Eels takes on the defence during the round 2 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Parramatta Eels at Cbus Super Stadium on March 22, 2020 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Now the match review committee chairman Michael Robertson has defended the charge due to their being no mitigating circumstances in a Sydney Morning Herald report.

Robertson also said there were very few similarities between the two tackles.

“Some of the indicators we always look for are force to the head, risk of injury and whether the contact was direct,” Robertson told the publication.

“In this instance [of Verrills] we deemed the force to be moderate and the contact to be direct with no mitigating factors. We felt the tackle sat alongside a round 12 tackle involving David Klemmer, which we deemed to be a grade two charge.

“We felt the Verrills tackle had very few similarities to the Junior Paulo tackle. Shaun Lane knocked Kurt Mann significantly off his intended line and although there was considerable force in the overall tackle, we deemed the actual contact made from Paulo’s shoulder to the head of Mann to be less than what we saw in Sam Verrills’ case.”

While Paulo will be able to front up for the Eels when the club face the Penrith Panthers in Saturday night's second semi-final, the Roosters will either need to turn to Ben Marschke, or Lachlan Lam in the number nine with Sam Walker to start in an attempt to replace Verrills in the squad for their Friday night clash with the Sea Eagles.