Roosters back-rower Sarah Togatuki is available for Sunday’s NRLW grand final after receiving a downgrade for a careless high tackle in her side’s semi-final win.
Togatuki pleaded guilty but pushed for a downgrade at the judiciary on Tuesday night, leading to a verdict that’s freed her for the Roosters’ grand final clash with the Dragons at Brisbane’s Moreton Daily Stadium.
Togatuki collected Broncos back-rower Lavinia Gould high as the Roosters stunned Brisbane in a semi-final.
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Legal representative James McLeod argued there was little wrong with Togatuki’s technique in the fourth-minute tackle.
“There was one point of shortfall, there was a small degree of carelessness,” McLeod said.
“We say high contact was made between her chest and ball-carrier. She made a slight error in her execution. This is at the lowest end of the scale and it justifies this to be a grade one.
“She only marginally got the tackle wrong. It was a wrapping tackle, a ball-and-all (tackle).
“The Broncos player was in running position and her knees were significantly bent, which contributed to the contact.
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“It’s not direct first contact with the right shoulder, nor at any stage does she lead with the right shoulder. There’s no lazy arm, there’s no clinched fist.
“It’s a very slight degree of carelessness.”
NRL counsel Lachlan Gyles argued the level of force and risk of injury were moderate, not low, and that Gould was in a precarious position when Togatuki hit her high.
The judiciary panel, consisting of Dallas Johnson, Bob Lindner and Tarsha Gale, disagreed with Gyles.
Togatuki is set for her third NRLW grand final appearance.
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