Jorge Taufua has expressed surprise at the light penalty handed to Manly teammate Martin Taupau by the NRL match review committee for his high tackle on Cronulla centre Jack Bird.
Taupau on Tuesday took the early guilty plea on his grade two careless high tackle charge, and will miss only Saturday’s round four match against Sydney Roosters.
Teammate Brenton Lawrence will also be a spectator this weekend after pleading guilty to a grade one dangerous contact charge.
Speaking at Manly training on Wednesday, Taufua admitted he thought Taupau’s ban might have been longer.
“It was pretty hard what he did to Jack Bird so hopefully he is alright,” Taufua said.
“I was surprised he got the one week, I will leave it at that.”
Sharks coach Shane Flanagan was upset with the grading given to Taupau, after Bird was concussed by his swinging arm and failed to return to the field in Manly’s win on Monday night.
Taufua claimed Taupau wasn’t aware of his own strength.
“He mustn’t have mirrors at home because he is pretty huge,” he said.
“He kind of folds some people at training just by accident. He just swats them away like you or I might with a fly. I’m not sure he knows how strong he is. He is a very powerful guy.”
Roosters centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall, who plays his 200th NRL game against Manly, agreed.
“I am happy Marty isn’t playing. Wouldn’t you be happy too?” he joked to reporters at the Roosters Moore Park base on Wednesday afternoon.
“He is a big loss for them.
“It was pretty nasty and I think he was lucky but that is up to the judiciary. We are just thankful he isn’t playing.”
Sea Eagles skipper Jamie Lyon wasn’t so forthcoming.
” I’m not really surprised (at the ban) I thought he (Bird) was going down a bit,” Lyon said.
“There was no malice in it he didn’t mean to do it. He has done it at training a few times, so I think it was accidental.”
Manly coach Trent Barrett hasn’t finalised his side for the Roosters clash but Jamie Buhrer is certain to slot into the 17 in his return from a broken jaw suffered at the Auckland Nines.