Rugby League: Morley escapes lengthy ban

Click to follow
The Independent Online
THE Leeds and Great Britain second-row forward, Adrian Morley, will miss his club's match at St Helens on Sunday after being banned for a high tackle.

Morley, one of Leeds' outstanding players in their unbeaten start to the Super League season, was sent off for the tackle on Whetu Taewa at Sheffield last weekend.

Morley has been criticised for his tackling technique in the past and a long ban would have been a major blow to Graham Murray's side. But a disciplinary hearing in Leeds ruled that his tackle was careless rather than premeditated and suspended him for just one game.

Leeds have an obvious replacement for Sunday, with their Australian back- row man, Marc Glanville, back in action after concussion, while the Saints' coach, Shaun McRae, could leave out two other regular first-teamers as well as Bobbie Goulding.

Saints insist that Goulding is injured, but the clear implication is that he, Damien Smith and Karle Hammond are carrying much of the blame for last week's defeat at Halifax. Andy Haigh and Apollo Perelini will come into the starting line up, with Sean Long moving to scrum-half and Tommy Martyn starting at stand-off.

Bradford, who have secured a four-figure sponsorship deal with the sports goods company, Asics UK, for their Bulltag touch rugby game, have a player who tackles rather harder available for tonight's match against the London Broncos.

Matt Calland is fit again after a hamstring strain and is likely to replace Nathan Graham, who has damaged a pectoral muscle, on the bench with Bulls' coach, Matthew Elliott, sticking with the starting 13 that won at Castleford. Shaun Edwards will be playing against London for the first time since his stint with them.

London's Tony Currie will have to juggle his resources to make up for the absence of Martin Offiah, Glen Air, Chris Ryan, Mark Carroll and John Timu in his worst injury crisis of the season so far.

Wes Cotton comes in on the wing, with Tulsen Tollett at centre and Peter Gill at stand-off. Steve Rosolen starts his first game in the second row since breaking his arm in the pre-season.

"It is incredible how strong our side still is, with the likes of Offiah, Carroll and Timu out," Rosolen, London's longest-serving player, said.

The 22-year-old prop Steve Barrow is poised to make his Hull debut against Wigan on Sunday after he moved to the Sharks on loan from Central Park yesterday.

Comments