17 Jul 2009

Waterhouse walks free after fiery Origin clash

5:47 am on 17 July 2009

Penrith backrower Trent Waterhouse has escaped a suspension on a contrary conduct charge from the fiery State of Origin finale.

Waterhouse was charged after he became the first NSW player to be sent off in an Origin following an incident with Queensland veteran Steve Price in the Blues' 28-16 win at Suncorp Stadium.

Facing a one game ban, Waterhouse successfully pleaded his case to the NRL judiciary who found him not guilty of the charge and cleared him to play in the Panthers' game against Canberra on Saturday.

Waterhouse claimed he had merely been trying to break up a fight between Price and Blues prop Brett White when he tackled the Warriors skipper.

A punch from White had knocked out Price an instant before Waterhouse's contact, making the incident look worse than it was.

Waterhouse's verdict means no player was suspended from Wednesday's match with North Queensland's Johnathan Thurston taking an early plea on his dangerous contact charge to avoid any penalty.