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Roosters seek downgrade for Verrills to face Manly

Parramatta pair Junior Paulo and Marata Niukore have escaped suspension.

Sam Verrills faces suspension in the second week of the finals.

Sam Verrills faces suspension in the second week of the finals.Credit:Getty

Meanwhile, NRL head of football Graham Annesley backed the referees on Monday on a controversial penalty try scored by the Eels in their win over Newcastle.

The Eels were awarded a penalty try in the 77th minute after the bunker ruled Will Penisini was tackled without the ball.

But there was uncertainty around whether Eels captain Clint Gutherson had knocked the ball in the grubber kick chased by Penisini.

Annesley said that, under NRL rules, even if the ball did hit the ground before the kick the grubber was still valid.

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The rule states: “A drop-kick is a kick whereby the ball is dropped from the grounds (or hand) and is kicked immediately it rebounds from the ground”.

“You can see he is definitely moving his foot towards the ball. He’s certainly attempting to kick it. I don’t think there is any suggestion the ball accidentally hit his foot,” Annesley said.

Annesley also said the NRL would looking at the HIA incident involving Newcastle back-rower Tyson Frizell.

Frizell returned to the field despite looking unsteady after hitting the hip of Reagan Campbell-Gillard in the early stages of the game.

“I’m not going to suggest to you at the moment that anything untoward has happened, but we need to get more information from the people who actually conducted the examination,” he said.

“We will follow it through and then we will make any decisions that need to be made.”

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