Roosters roll the dice in bid to free Crichton

The Roosters are set to fight a grade-one, dangerous-contact charge against Angus Crichton in a push for the second-rower to be available for the State of Origin opener on June 9.

The NSW star is facing a two-match suspension for a high shot on Broncos five-eighth Albert Kelly, but the Roosters have opted to roll the dice in the first significant challenge of the NRL’s crackdown.

It’s a free hit for the Roosters, with the grade-one charge attracting a two-match ban even had Crichton taken the early guilty plea. Should he be found guilty at the judiciary tomorrow night he will still face two weeks on the sideline, ruling him out of Saturday night’s clash with the Raiders as well as State of Origin I.

The Tricolours are also set to appeal the grading of Victor Radley’s grade-two, careless high-tackle charge, in an effort to reduce his suspension from three weeks to two weeks after he took the early guilty plea on the grade-one, dangerous-contact (head/neck) charge.

The enforcer is risking a fourth week on the sideline by challenging the grading for his hit on Broncos back-rower Tevita Pangai Junior. If he fails in his bid to get a downgrade it will effectively sideline him up until State of Origin II.

In the most dramatic scenes since the ARLC’s crackdown on high shots was enforced in Magic Round, Radley was sin-binned twice and reported four times in the Roosters’ 34-16 defeat to the Broncos at the SCG.

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