NSW giant escapes ban for wild full-time ‘punch’

NSW front-rower Junior Paulo has escaped punishment after the prop was placed on report for a punch during the final chaotic seconds of Queensland’s boilover State of Origin III win on the Gold Coast.

Considering the NRL’s new crackdown on contact with the head and strict edicts condemning punching, it was thought the Eels star would face the wrath of the NRL’s match review committee after referee Gerard Sutton booked him for what appeared to be an attempted punch on Queensland second-rower Felise Kaufusi after the full-time siren.

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However, the NRL confirmed via a statement this morning that no player had been charged from Game Three, leaving Paulo free for the Eels’ clash with the Titans on the Gold Coast on Friday.

Replays showed Kaufusi stuck an elbow up at Paulo as the Parramatta giant ran in to join a scuffle that had broken out, leading former Blues captain Paul Gallen to suggest Kaufusi may also get charged.

“Kaufusi raised his elbow as he ran in so I think that’s what (Paulo) got upset about,” Gallen said on Nine’s post-match coverage.

“I think if he’s going to get charged, Kaufusi might get charged for raising an elbow.”

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