Review judiciary system: Kearney

Stephen Kearney. Photo: Getty Images
Stephen Kearney. Photo: Getty Images
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney is calling for a review of the NRL judiciary system.

That comes in the wake of the Issac Luke's three-game suspension on Tuesday night.

The Auckland club was unsuccessful in their attempts to have Luke's charge downgraded, with the Kiwis hooker found guilty of a grade two dangerous throw.

That means Luke is ruled out until round 24, when the Warriors face the Rabbitohs in Auckland.

It has led to accusations of inconsistency from the match review committee and the judiciary.

Manly and New South Wales lock Jake Trbojevic is free to play this week, despite the ugly incident with Melbourne's Jahrome Hughes, which resembled a spear tackle from the 1970s.

Several coaches across the NRL have had issues with the constantly changing interpretations of foul play, and Kearney added his voice to that chorus on Wednesday.

While emphasising that he is completely focused on Friday's game against the Raiders, Kearney said there are things to fix in the current system.

"That is probably not a conversation for today," said Kearney.

"[But] what has been highlighted, not only over the last week but over the season, [is that there] needs to be some kind of review, [a] process where we make the system better for everyone. Ricky [Stuart] made a pretty strong point about it also."

On Tuesday night the Warriors contested the gravity of Luke's tackle, arguing that it should have been assessed as a grade one dangerous throw, but the judiciary panel took just nine minutes to dismiss their argument, after lawyers for both sides had put their cases.

"It says that it was pretty quick," said Kearney.

"[I'm] fairly disappointed, we thought we had a good case but you always take the risk when you go in and fight the charge to get it downgraded.

"We thought it was worthwhile but it didn't turn out that way. But it's happened. Karl [Lawton] comes into the frame and we will get on with it."

It leaves Chanel Harris-Tavita as the likely back up option to Lawton, though Jazz Tevaga and Kodi Nikorima could also spend some time at dummy half.

Like Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Kearney was reluctant to dwell too much on the controversial Eels clash last Saturday, with all four match officials being stood down after a string of mistakes.

NRL head of football Graeme Annesley is coming to Auckland on Friday to address the club's concerns about recent events and will meet with CEO Cameron George and football manager Brian Smith but Kearney is only looking forward.

"I can't sit on the frustration and disappointment for too long," said Kearney. "That's not my job to do that. I'm here to coach the footy team and move on as quickly as possible.

"And that's the point I made to the team. Put yourselves in the opposition shoes this week. Do you think they will be feeling sorry for us? Absolutely not. And we can't either."

Patrick Herbert (hamstring) is in line to return next week, though David Fusitu'a (hamstring) is at least two weeks away. And the prognosis is uncertain for Tohu Harris, who may not play again this year as he comes back from surgery on a stress fracture in his foot.

"There's a possibility [he won't play again this season]," said Kearney. "We need to see how he pulls up at the back end of round 22. He goes back to see a specialist in and around that time. It's a wait and see."

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