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Mitchell Allgood sent to the sin bin after punching Steve Mataihttp://c1.puntersparadise.net/news/photos/Mitchell Allgood sent to the sin bin after punching Steve Matai-1373355943_n.jpg

Allgood had to hit or be hit: Maitua

Mitchell Allgood sent to the sin bin after punching Steve Matai

Reni Maitua doesn't condone the actions of Mitchell Allgood - but believes his Parramatta teammate's attack on Steve Matai was a case of "hit or be hit".
Allgood had to hit or be hit: Maitua
by AAP

EDS: Takes in earlier RL Judiciary

By Steve Jancetic

SYDNEY, July 9 AAP - Reni Maitua doesn't condone the actions of Mitchell Allgood - but believes his Parramatta teammate's attack on Steve Matai was a case of "hit or be hit".

Allgood was on Tuesday slapped with a grade-three striking charge for unloading a flurry of punches on Manly centre Matai in a dramatic finish to a predictable Eels thrashing.

He faces a two-game ban with an early guilty plea, or three matches with an unsuccessful challenge at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night.

The Eels front-rower had landed a swinging arm on Sea Eagles utility Jamie Buhrer which Matai took exception to - Matai running 10 metres to challenge Allgood over the incident.

From there, Maitua believes instinct took over for his frustrated teammate.

"Mitchell's desire and want got the better of him in the end," Maitua said.

"Frustration came into his game. Stevie is a scary guy and he's been a bit of a bully, so to speak.

"I've been good friends with him over a number of years but I think Mitchy saw him coming and it was hit or be hit.

"I don't condone it and it's not a good look for the game but it happened."

It's an instinct Maitua believes might have been shaped by an incident which occurred before the NRL's crackdown on fighting following State of Origin I.

In the round-nine meeting with Brisbane, Allgood was the victim when Broncos prop Josh McGuire took exception to a tackle on teammate Peter Wallace.

"... there wasn't much in it, but he (Allgood) had his hands down and got king hit," Maitua said.

"He probably thought in his mind that he's not going to let that happen again.

"Stevie came a long way out of the line to confront him and I don't know if he was going to hit him or not, but Mitchell took it into his own hands and he's going to have to deal with the consequences."

The Eels are considering challenging those consequences, with the NRL match review committee seemingly still coming to terms with how to police the anti-fighting crackdown.

NSW props Paul Gallen and Trent Merrin were both handed grade-one charges for fighting in the opening two Origin games.

While Allgood and Matai were face to face when the Eels prop unloaded - Queensland centre Brent Tate had his head down when Merrin unleashed his attack.

Gallen - whose retribution-fuelled punch to the head of Nate Myles in the Origin opener was the catalyst for the fighting crackdown - backed Allgood's pre-emptive strike.

"Steve Matai's a bit of a firecracker, as we know," Gallen said.

"You've got Steve Matai coming toward you with his eyes rolling - you might have to protect yourself.

"I can see him thinking Steve Matai was coming to fight him and he got him first - if you're going to have a fight, you may as well get in first."




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