Latrell charged, Morrin in strife but Wighton escapes sanction over hip drop



South Sydney star Jack Wighton has escaped a ban for an apparent hip-drop tackle during the Rabbitohs’ Good Friday win over the Bulldogs but teammate Latrell Mitchell has been charged with dangerous contact.

Mitchell faces a fine of $1800-$2500 over his hit on Indigenous All Stars teammate Josh Addo-Carr which sent the Bulldogs winger from the field in the lead-up to half-time.

Canterbury’s Kurtis Morrin was also pinged over a grade-two dangerous throw early in the second half which means he could be outed for two or three matches.

Wighton left Dogs fans incensed after dragging Jacob Preston to ground close to the try-line, with the incident closely scrutinised.

However, NRL head of football Graham Annesley said on Friday he didn’t believe the veteran centre had a case to answer, and so it proved, with Wighton not even cited in the NRL’s list of judiciary charges announced on Saturday.

Bulldogs coach Cameron Ciraldo would not comment specifically on the incident, which forced an error on attack in the first half of the Rabbitohs’ tense 20-16 triumph on Good Friday.

But he made a point to say Preston had finished the game with an ankle injury, but despite being clearly unimpressed with the tackle, he would not discuss the legality of the hit.

Preston was sin-binned in the Good Friday clash last year for a hip-drop, only for the NRL to admit the following day the tackle was fine.

“Oh I remember that well,” Ciraldo said. “I honestly didn’t see today’s that closely.”

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 29: Jack Wighton of the Rabbitohs celebrates scoring a try with team mates during the round four NRL match between South Sydney Rabbitohs and Canterbury Bulldogs at Accor Stadium, on March 29, 2024, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Jack Wighton celebrates scoring a try with teammates. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Wighton is only two games back after copping a three-game suspension during last year’s finals series for Canberra after being found guilty of biting Knights opponent Tyson Gamble.

In commentary, Andrew Johns suggested the tackle had looked like a hip-drop motion, though replays suggested Wighton did not land on Preston’s leg.

Preston said afterwards he would not require scans on his ankle, and also would not comment on the tackle from Wighton.

“I won’t comment on it. I haven’t seen it yet. That’s footy, mate,” Preston said.

Canterbury fullback Blake Taaffe was also charged and will be a thousand bucks out of pocket for grade-one dangerous contact.

Roosters forward Nat Butcher was charged with a careless high tackle from Thursday night’s loss to Penrith but is only facing a fine of $1000-$1500.


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