St George Illawarra winger Jordan Pereira could miss up to five matches after being charged with a grade three high tackle on Roosters fullback James Tedesco.

The 28-year-old collected his falling opponent with a swinging arm and was sent to the sin bin as the Dragons lost the annual Anzac Day clash 34-10.

“James Tedesco’s going to be off for at least 15 minutes, so you wonder how fair that’s going to be,” Brad Fittler said in regards to referee Ashley Klein’s decision to send Pereira for ten minutes rather than sending him off.

Tedesco failed his ensuing head injury assessment and didn’t return for the second half.

Pereira’s teammate Mikaele Ravalawa was also charged, being hit with a grade two shoulder charge on Josh Morris.

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He’s also looking at a couple of weeks on the sideline. An early guilty plea would result in a two-week ban, and if he were to fight and lose it would be three.

Tyrell Fuimaono was charged with a high tackle as well, but will escape with only a fine.

There was one additional charge in the final game of the evening between the Warriors and the Storm, Josh Curran facing either one or two weeks on the sideline for a high tackle on George Jennings.

With near-constant debate surrounding suspensions and judiciary decisions in recent weeks, NRL boss Andrew Abdo issued a statement today, pointing out the panel’s “challenging environment and that they were tasked with making difficult decisions.

“There are currently five judiciary panel members who have played almost 1000 premiership games collectively and won Grand Finals, State of Origin Series and Test Matches. Their knowledge and understanding of rugby league is unquestionable,” he said.

“The judiciary panel are independent of the NRL or any Club.  Our panellists are meticulous in their consideration of evidence and unquestionably independent in the way they deliberate.  Aside from decorated rugby league careers our panellists are also successful in their chosen fields.

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Abdo said the independence of the panel could not be questioned. 

“The game is very fortunate to have a Judiciary which is Chaired by Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Bellew. Justice Bellew’s services are an asset to our game. His summary of evidence and directions to the panel are again independent and mirror the process of a courtroom. 

He likened the carryover system to real life crime, where repeat offenders are punished more severely – but did concede that practices could be examined at the end of the season.

“The NRL Judiciary System, as is the case with all processes and systems within the game, will be reviewed during the year. As always, the review will be considered by the Australian Rugby League Commission who will determine what changes may be required taking into account all views.”

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