10 May 2012

Gallen escapes NRL ban

12:36 pm on 10 May 2012

The Cronulla and New South Wales league captain Paul Gallen passionately argued his innocence and was vindicated with a not guilty verdict for a dangerous contact charge at the NRL judiciary.

Gallen avoided a one-match suspension for kneeing South Sydney forward Dave Taylor in the head, and says he's now determined to overcome his own knee injury and play in Sunday's big match against the Melbourne Storm.

The Sharks star insisted the incident was accidental, and the panel took only took a few minutes to rule in his favour.

Gallen has also been cleared of a serious knee injury after limping off the field during the loss to South Sydney. He only expects to be out for a week, meaning he'll be fit for the opening State of Origin match in two weeks.

Meanwhile the St George Illawarra forward Matt Prior admitted his five-match suspension for striking North Queensland's co-captain Johnathan Thurston was "about right".

Prior was sent off for a nasty elbow and forearm to Thurston's head on Friday night.

Prior's clean record and early guilty plea saved him from a longer suspension.