July 18, 2012
Free Dog ... Sam Kasiano will play against the Sea Eagles on Friday. Photo: Tamara Dean
Canterbury prop Sam Kasiano will be free to face Manly on Friday after being found not guilty of a grade-two careless high tackle by the NRL judiciary on Wednesday.
Kasiano was placed on report after collecting Parramatta prop Fuifui Moimoi across the head with his right arm in the opening 10 seconds of the Bulldogs' 32-12 win over the Eels last Friday.
The NRL's counsel Peter Kite said he accepted there was no suggestion of intent or recklessness from Kasiano, but the giant Kiwi had not shown the necessary duty of care to avoid forceful contact with the upper head and neck area of Moimoi.
Kite said the incident was "a good old fashioned coathanger", and that Kasiano didn't have a target, and "simply threw an arm out".
Canterbury's counsel Nick Ghabar said Kasiano did not have the time to change his line of attack as Moimoi was slipping as he was running with the ball.
He used a selection of still photographs of the incident to argue that the prop's arm would have been below the ball had Moimoi's body not been so low to the ground.
"It was very substantial drop in very quick time that caused this," Ghabar said.
"It's quite obvious that Mr Moimoi has dropped from the knees by 50cm in 0.4 seconds."
Judiciary chairman Paul Conlon sent the panel of Sean Garlick, Royce Ayliffe and Don McKinnon out of the room to ask Kite to clarify some of the elements of his argument.
And after 20 minutes of deliberation, the panel found Kasiano - who was supported by coach Des Hasler, chief executive Todd Greenberg and football manager Alan Thompson - not guilty.
"We're pleased with the verdict and looking forward to facing Manly on Friday," Greenberg said.
"We are very well versed in these situations and there is a big difference between an accident and being deliberate and those shown."
Kasiano said he was relieved to be cleared and was looking forward to helping the Bulldogs beat Hasler's former side in what is expected to be a red-hot encounter at Brookvale.
"I am very happy and can focus on the game now," he said.
Earlier on Wednesday, South Sydney hooker Issac Luke pleaded guilty to a grade-two lifting tackle on Sydney Roosters Jared Waerea-Hargreaves in his side's 24-22 win on Monday.
Luke will miss Souths' next three games starting with Saturday's clash with St George Illawarra at ANZ Stadium.