Manu to miss one game, Baker avoids suspension, Souths pair fined

Joey Manu will miss one match for a high shot on Isaiah Tass, while Sydney Roosters teammate Fletcher Baker can escape with a fine for a similar high shot on Campbell Graham.

The match review committee on Saturday morning also issued fines for South Sydney pair Michael Chee Kam and Cody Walker following Friday night’s blockbuster derby, which the Roosters won 20-18.

Joseph Suaalii avoided being cited for a shoulder charge on Graham, which was put on report early in the game.

Manu flew across to collect Tass, which sparked a melee. It prompted the normally reserved Souths skipper Cameron Murray to take matters into his own hands with Manu.

“I let my emotions get the better of me there for a bit,” Murray said after the game.

“I was sticking up for my teammate. I’ve said it before that I won’t go and start something, but I always stick up for myself and my teammate. That’s why I did what I did.

Joseph Manu in the middle of the late melee on Friday night.Credit:Getty

“I felt like what I did there was valid for the tackle.”

Manu will miss the clash against Parramatta on Thursday week, provided he enters an early guilty plea.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson said after the game Manu was trying to emulate the try-saving tackle he came up with 10 minutes earlier on Tass.

“He was trying to knock it out and got it wrong,” Robinson said.

Roosters halfback Sam Walker told The Sun-Herald about the late flare-up: “I steered pretty far away from it. I know my limits. I’m there to play footy. But it did get heated.

“Joey Manu came up with a play to try and win the game for us. He slipped a little bit high, but we don’t want him to change his way of playing.”

Walker said his namesake Cody was getting frustrated, and shoved him in the back off the ball after Manu had denied Tass earlier in the half.

“It was a huge play, and Cody got me off the back of that, and you could see they were getting frustrated. That’s what you want – you want them thinking about things that aren’t involved with footy,” he said.

“This is the biggest rivalry in the NRL – probably [the biggest] in Australian sport – and these are the games you want to play in. It was a packed house at Allianz, a lot of people watching on TV … they got the better of us last year, we learnt a lot, and want to get better again this year.”

More to come

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