Charged Titan Greg Bird set for grounding
GOLD Coast Titans enforcer Greg Bird may have played his last representative game, with his long history of dangerous tackles finally catching up with the veteran forward.
Bird (pictured) is staring at between six and eight weeks on the sidelines after the NRL's match review committee slugged him with a grade-two dangerous throw charge for a 74th-minute tackle on New Zealand winger Jason Nightingale in Sunday's Test loss to the Kiwis at Suncorp Stadium.
Titans coach Neil Henry and the club's legal eagles will decide today whether to try and get the charge downgraded rather than challenge it and risk the maximum eight-week suspension should they fail.
It is Bird's fourth dangerous throw charge in the past 12 months, which means some heavy points loading, taking his base from 325 up to 609 points with an early guilty plea, or 812 if he fights it and loses.
It will rule him out of the first two Origin games and unless he gets a downgrade, he can virtually write off taking part in NSW's defence. At 30, that kind of setback could impact heavily on his representative future.
Brisbane forward Sam Thaiday will miss the Broncos' clash with Penrith this weekend after being charged with a grade-one dangerous contact with the neck/head on Kiwi forward Martin Taupau who reacted to the tackle by running his finger across his neck as he glared at Thaiday.
Bulldogs five-eighth Josh Reynolds will also miss the weekend's action after being charged with tripping Tariq Sims in the City-Country clash.
The news was all bad for NSW supporters with Dragons fullback Josh Dugan also rated in doubt for Origin I after injuring his knee in a heavy collision with Kiwi forward Greg Eastwood.