Jake Granville had success at the NRL judiciary. Image: Evan Morgan
Jake Granville had success at the NRL judiciary. Image: Evan Morgan

Granville gets pre-Origin boost

JAKE Granville will get one last chance to stake his claims for a State of Origin debut after being cleared of dangerous contact at the NRL judiciary.

The North Queensland hooker was staring at a one-game ban after being hit with a grade-one dangerous contact charge from Saturday's win over Parramatta.

However the three-person panel of Bob Lindner, Tony Puletua and Sean Garlick took 25 minutes to find the defendant not guilty in a one-hour hearing on Tuesday night.

Granville is now free to face Canberra on Saturday in what will be his final opportunity to impress before the Queensland team for game one is announced.

 

"It's pretty full-on. I'm not really used to stuff like that. A bit nerve-racking when it comes to the crunch there," Granville said after the hearing.

"We waited about 25 minutes to come to the decision and yeah, it was the right one, which we believed in. It was good to get off."

NRL judiciary counsel Peter McGrath argued Granville had launched himself at the legs of Eels' playmaker Mitchell Moses early in the game in Townsville.

McGrath said he attacked an airborne Moses in a position of vulnerability, before landing awkwardly on his right leg with the weight of Granville's body.

However Granville's defence counsel, Cowboys general manager Peter Parr, successfully argued his player's target area was above Moses' legs. He also pointed to replays showing Granville's first point of contact was when Moses was still on the ground, and that he cradled the Eels No.7 after the hit.

Granville has an outside shot at a Maroons jersey. Image: AAP Image/Michael Chambers
Granville has an outside shot at a Maroons jersey. Image: AAP Image/Michael Chambers

"Moses did get high off the ground, but as soon as (Granville) was aware that Moses was in a vulnerable position, he cradled him to the ground," Parr said.

"He did everything he could to ensure Moses was taken out of that vulnerability."

Granville has catapulted into Origin reckoning following injuries to Maroons incumbent Andrew McCullough, and long-time aspirant Jake Friend. Former skipper Cameron Smith has repeatedly ruled out a dramatic return.

Ironically, Granville's major threat is teammate Josh McGuire, who is tipped to start at rake before being substituted by likely utility Ben Hunt.

McGuire himself hasn't played since straining his calf in round eight, but has been named on an extended bench for the road trip to the nation's capital.

Asked about his chances of an Origin berth after the hearing, Granville said: "I was just concentrating on the Cowboys and trying to get a game in this weekend. "I'm happy we got the decision we were after."

News Corp Australia


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