NRL news; Manly forward Kyle Lawton faces extended time on sidelines after send off

Sea Eagles forward Karl Lawton is facing a four to five week ban after he was sent off in his side’s round eight loss to South Sydney.

Lawton was given his marching orders in the ninth minute after lifting Rabbitohs skipper Cameron Murray into a dangerous position.

Lawton was charged with a grade 3 dangerous throw by the match review committee, which will see him miss four matches with an early guilty plea or five games if he fights the charge and loses.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Murray, the South Sydney skipper, said he was glad he escaped injury.

“I just did my best to try and land in a way where I wouldn’t hurt myself – I was lucky,” Murray said. “I know it was accidental. That stuff happens in the game. I hope he [Lawton] doesn’t miss too much footy for it.”

Souths coach Jason Demetriou said the referee made the right decision.

“It was a really dangerous tackle,” he said. “And Cam is really lucky he rolled. If he tried to straighten he would have been in a lot of trouble. If it was one of my players I would have seen it as fair [to be sent off].”

Manly coach Des Hasler said of Lawton after the game: “He’s devastated the poor kid. He’s such a hard worker and plays the game at that pace. There was certainly no malice in the tackle. At the same time, there will be some sort of consequences to face with that tackle.

“Would you send him or sin bin him? I thought maybe a decision could have been disputed there. Either way, he wasn’t going to stay on the field.”

Manly skipper Daly Cherry-Evans added: “In the moment you’re just gutted you’re losing a player for the whole game. It’s a really big consequence to face, but the officials make tough decisions for a reason, they’re trying to protect the players.”

Nine’s commentary, including Phil Gould and Brad Fittler downplayed the seriousness of the incident.

“It’s just momentum, no one’s hurt. Settle down,” Gould said.

Fittler agreed, adding: “I’m in support of Gus.”

“I didn’t think at any stage that deserved a send-off.

“You see a lot of these players get in that situation and they will drop their heads to the ground… I thought that could’ve been an awful lot worse and I really can’t believe he’s walking past me on the sidelines.”

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