HUDDERSFIELD GIANTS’ captain Leroy Cudjoe hopes the World Cup disciplinary panel will “see sense” when looking at an allegation of biting made against his club-mate and England winger Jermaine McGillvary.
McGillvary could face a ban of up to 12 weeks if found guilty of a charge of “contrary conduct” after Lebanon captain Robbie Farah complained following an incident during Saturday’s game.
McGillvary – England’s best player so far and a try-scorer in both Group A games – faces a disciplinary hearing via video link tomorrow.
The incident was placed on report by referee Ben Thaler after former Australia hooker Farah insisted he had been bitten on the arm when tackling the 29-year-old in the 42nd minute of England’s 29-10 win in Sydney.
A match-review panel has since brought the charge, but ex-England centre Cudjoe, who has formed such a prolific partnership alongside McGillvray over the last eight years, feels there will be no suspension for the much-respected winger.
“I don’t think he will get banned – that kind of act isn’t a part of his game,” Cudjoe told The Yorkshire Post, about one of the sport’s least likely agitators.
I don’t think he will get banned – that kind of act isn’t a part of his game. He’s a great guy and I’m confident people will see sense and he will continue to perform well in the World Cup.Leroy Cudjoe
“He’s a great guy and I’m confident people will see sense and he will continue to perform well in the World Cup. For me, Jerry’s been one of the stand-out players in the England side, but also the competition. He’s doing his country, club and family proud and no doubt he will keep getting better.”
Recent NRL history shows any player found guilty of biting can expect a suspension of between eight and 12 weeks.
McGillvary’s England team-mate James Graham was banned for 12 weeks after being found guilty of biting the ear of Australia full-back Billy Slater during Canterbury Bulldogs’ 2012 NRL Grand Final loss to Melbourne.
But England, now in Perth ahead of Sunday’s final group game against France, are sure to fight this charge as any contact seemed accidental given Farah’s forearm was pressing down into the Yorkshireman’s face.
McGillvary is one of only two specialist wingers in Wayne Bennett’s 24-man squad and he was named the players’ man of the match after scoring England’s only points in the 18-4 defeat by holders Australia in Melbourne.
That hard-running performance saw him earn rave reviews and he crossed again versus Lebanon, for a seventh try in eight Tests, and has been named in England’s line-up for the game with France.
Any ban will be served in the tournament and can be carried over into Super League, too. It is the second biting allegation of the World Cup. Wales prop Ben Evans made the accusation against Papua New Guinea’s Wellington Albert during the first weekend, but the case was not proven.
Meanwhile, Huddersfield’s controversial stand-off Danny Brough has also now apologised for the drunken behaviour that cost the Scotland captain his place in the tournament.
It also comes after Shannon Wakeman, the Giants prop, punched Italy team-mate James Tedasco in a Cairns bar last week, although he escaped punishment and the pair helped the Azzurri to a 46-0 win against USA.
Brough, though, who has led the Bravehearts in their last three World Cups, was sent home along with team-mates Jonny Walker and Sam Brooks after they were too drunk to board a plane.
The three had carried on drinking into the night following Scotland’s 74-6 thrashing by New Zealand and were left behind in Christchurch as the rest of the squad flew to Brisbane.
“It was obviously very disappointing the three of them chose to continue drinking at a point in time when they clearly should have stopped,” said Scotland Rugby League chairman Keith Hogg.
“It was not obvious until we got to the airport what the situation was, but the airline had their rules and we completely supported them in their decision-making.
“It’s something that developed very quickly, but it’s important to stress it was purely about the three; no members of the public were involved, there was no screaming and shouting, they just chose to drink too much.
“We sat down at the airport, convened a proper meeting and there was universal agreement there was only one decision we could take. We believe in the right values and right behaviours and there is a tournament code of conduct that we support.
“They clearly took some time to react, for fairly obvious reasons, but it was very quickly clear they were contrite. Certainly the best known of the three players was extremely apologetic when I talked to him on the phone.”
Brough, 34 has been the mainstay of the Scotland team for a decade, leading them to the 2013 World Cup quarter-finals and a surprise 18-18 draw with New Zealand in the 2016 Four Nations.He won a record 24th cap in the opening game of the tournament.
Scotland have conceded 124 points in their two games so far, but could still reach the quarter-finals with victory over Samoa in Cairns on Saturday.