Thorn handed one-match ban for high tackle

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The Independent Online
Brisbane Broncos will be without Brad Thorn for their final World Club Championship match at Halifax on Monday.

Their versatile forward was sent off for a high tackle on London's Tony Martin in the match between the two sides on Sunday and was suspended for one match at a disciplinary hearing yesterday.

Brisbane, one of four unbeaten Australian sides in Group A of the competition, are unlikely to be greatly inconvenienced by his absence against opponents who have not won a match.

Before that, Canterbury, already eliminated from the reckoning by being beaten twice by Wigan, have little but pride to play for at London Broncos, who can beat Wigan to the top qualifying spot if they win tonight.

The Wigan stand-off, Nigel Wright, is to see a specialist over the flare- up of a groin injury that threatens to continue his wretched luck with injuries.

John Cartwight will make his comeback after a broken arm - delayed last week by a training accident - in Salford's match against Adelaide on Sunday. His team-mate Andy Platt, who suffered one of the game's quickest injuries when he pulled a hamstring chasing the kick-off against North Queensland, also hopes to be fit.

Auckland Warriors, who have been assured that there will be a place for them in Super League next season, could be preparing to use their wingman, Lee Oudenryn, as a bargaining counter to try to prise Henry Paul from Wigan.

Oudenryn, who once beat Martin Offiah in a challenge sprint, will be, after the departure of Denis Betts to Wigan, the only non-New Zealander left at a club now committed to a home-grown policy.

Perth Reds, unlike Auckland, have failed to gain any assurances about their future. Players emerged from a video conference with Super League officials yesterday uncertain whether they will have a club to play for next season.

That could help Paris when the sides meet at the Waca today. Victory for the French side, who promote Matt O'Connor and Craig Menkins to the starting line-up, would put pressure on Leeds, who are likely to be without Iestyn Harris when they play North Queensland on Sunday, in the struggle for first place in European Group A.