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Bird not charged over NRL 'squirrel grip'

Gold Coast back-rower Greg Bird has escaped censure from the NRL for an alleged squirrel grip on Penrith forward Sika Manu, in match review committee charges released on Tuesday.
Bird not charged over NRL 'squirrel grip'
by AAP

By James MacSmith

SYDNEY, April 22 AAP - Gold Coast back-rower Greg Bird has escaped censure from the NRL for an alleged squirrel grip on Penrith forward Sika Manu, in match review committee charges released on Tuesday.

Bird was accused of grabbing the testicles of Manu late in the Panthers' 14-12 win over the Titans on Monday night.

The Kangaroos' back-rower denied the allegations and the match review committee found he had no charge to answer.

Four players have been charged with dangerous throws from Easter Monday as the NRL backs up its crackdown on lifting tackles, while Newcastle's Willie Mason has taken the early guilty plea on a grade-two shoulder charge and will miss the Knights' next two matches.

Gold Coast forward Matt White faces a three-week stint on the sidelines, two with the early guilty plea for his lifting tackle on Penrith's Adam Docker, while Docker himself will earn a one-match ban if he pleads early on a hit on the Titans' Dave Taylor.

White was charged with a grade-two dangerous throw, while Docker was hit with a grade one and carryover points are set to cost him.

Panthers hooker Kevin Kingston was also charged with a grade-one dangerous throw on Taylor.

He will escape without a week's suspension if he takes the early guilty plea.

Wests Tigers forward Martin Taupau was also charged with a grade-one dangerous throw on Parramatta's Fui Fui Moi Moi in the joint venture's 21-18 win over the Eels at ANZ Stadium before more than 50,000 fans.

Taupau can also escape suspension if he takes the early guilty plea.

Manu lashed out at Bird after a 75th-minute tackle and Panthers skipper Peter Wallace also protested to referee Gavin Morris.

"He grabbed him on the nuts," Wallace could be heard saying over the referees' radio.

Bird brushed off the drama after the game.

"He wasn't that lucky," the NSW and Kangaroos' representative joked.

"I don't know mate. I just tackled him and he blew up about it."


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