Sydney - With little to lose, Sydney Roosters superstar Sonny Bill Williams
is tipped to roll the dice at the NRL judiciary, with his shoulder
charge victim Willie Mason vowing to offer what assistance he can to
his former team-mate.
According to the stuff.co.nz website, Williams is facing two weeks on the sidelines after being slapped
with a grade three careless high tackle charge today for his shoulder to
the head which flattened Newcastle prop Mason yesterday.
Prior to being charged, the dual international took to Twitter
seeking assistance from Mason - the pair having both come into the top
grade as teammates at Canterbury.
However, the level of any assistance from Mason may not determine
whether the Roosters contest the charge. A challenge to the grading of
the charge is most likely, given the star back-rower would face two
weeks out whether he takes the early plea or unsuccessfully challenges
the charge at a judiciary hearing.
The Roosters are not expected to make a decision until Tuesday.
Williams initially posted a photo of his mangled finger on Monday,
joking that Mason bit it after ''he head butted my shoulder". Mason
replied that he was more worried about the calf injury he sustained
against the Roosters, prompting Williams to issue his public plea.
''@mase21 chances on a sneaky phone call to the judiciary. #Helpabrotherout!! Hope the calf ain't serious big falla.''
Mason replied with: ''I'll do what I can bruh, u probably need a week to chill out and get that body rollin at a 100.''
Roosters team-mate Boyd Cordner admitted on Monday the loss of Williams
for games against Penrith and Canberra would be a big blow as the
tri-colours fight for the minor premiership.
With six games remaining the Roosters trail ladder-leaders and
arch-rivals South Sydney by two competition points. But Cordner was
confident the Roosters could cope without Williams, as the premiership
favourites showed in a 40-0 rout of Cronulla last weekend.
''Obviously Sonny's massive to our team and it would be a massive
blow but I think, like we showed last week against the Sharks, we can
perform without him,'' Cordner said.
The shoulder charge was an integral component of Williams' game
during his first stint in the NRL, but the tackle was outlawed this year
ahead of his return to the code.
He was charged over a shoulder charge on Parramatta's Matt Ryan earlier
in the season but escaped suspension with an early guilty plea.
However, the carry-over points from that pushed his penalty for an early
plea on the Mason tackle beyond the mark for a two-week suspension.