Cowboys enforcer Josh McGuire will take the early guilty plea and be suspended for the next three NRL matches after being hit with a grade two contrary conduct charge.
North Queensland coach Paul Green has leapt to McGuire’s defence, suggesting his reputation led to the severity of the charge and calls for him to lose his Australian Test jumper are “ridiculous”.
Green stipulated the Cowboys do not condone eye gouging and could not afford to risk challenging the charge laid by the NRL match review committee.
But the Cowboys coach was adamant McGuire did not eye gouge Broncos forward David Fifita but was instead being punished for his lengthy rap sheet of on-field incidents.
“As a club we know Josh needs to keep his nose clean because of his history,” Green said.
“But if you look at this incident in isolation we don’t believe there’s really that much in it. The incident went for a half a second.
“As a club we also understand it’s a bad look if we opt to go and fight the charge.
“No one wants to be seen condoning eye gouging. I don’t believe this was an eye gouge.
“Josh is shattered. He knows he needs to be better because of his previous history.”
Pressed about the prospect of McGuire being left out of the Kangaroos side as a result of this latest suspension, Green said: “That’s absolute rubbish people suggesting he shouldn’t be picked because of this incident.”
McGuire has already been fined twice this season for contrary conduct incidents where he was charged with raking his hand across the face of opponents.
Cowboys enforcer Josh McGuire will take the early guilty plea and be suspended for the next three NRL matches after being hit with a grade two contrary conduct charge.www.foxsports.com.au
I think McGuire took the piss at the weekend on the back of being in the shit twice this season already for the same bollocks behaviour. I've no sympathy for him.
However, I have to question the level of shit he gets in the press in comparisson to other players. For example, Sam Burgess and James Graham both have had long track records of suspensions. These are 2 of my favourite players but they're no angels. Graham has been banned for biting opponents as well as descent to refs. They're not called grubs and treated like shit though in the press. Both of them are regulars on fox sport! Now their past records are just due to 'being passionate' or needing to 'change technique in the tackle' and they're not being called grubs.
Neither are shit houses in how they play so to me, the lack of condeming them by the press is right. They are passionate, they messed up and the press seem to deal with it and move on which is right. I don't see the press though being consistently like this for all other players.
Again, i'm not being soft of McGuire. He's lucky not to have been banned for the Munster incident. I hate eye gouging. He'll get what he deserves from the NRL and i've no sympathy. However, the press need to do their bit and not turn him into public enemy number 1 and escalate the issue.