Papalii cleared to play grand final
CANBERRA front-rower Josh Papalii has been cleared to play in next weekend's grand final, in a massive boost to the Raiders' hopes of winning the premiership.
The Kangaroos and Maroons enforcer was placed on report for a high shot on South Sydney Rabbitohs fullback Adam Douehi in the second half of the grand final qualifier, won 16-10 by the Raiders, on Friday night .
On Saturday morning, Match review panel members looked at all television angles before determining the tackle did not warrant a charge.
Papalii was easily the best player on the field against the Rabbitohs and scored the match-winning try late in the game.
His front-row teammate Sia Soliola was charged with a Grade 1 careless tackle. He will be fined $1100 but play in the grand final.
Papalii's hit on Doueihi momentarily stopped play after the fullback was floored making a kick return.
Replays showed the force of the tackle propelling Doueihi's head forward and into Papalii's shoulder before the back of his head hit the turf.
A penalty was awarded to the Rabbitohs, while Doueihi came off the field for a head injury assessment and later returned.
Canberra coach Ricky Stuart initially believed Papalii was in trouble for a shoulder charge.
Papalii wasn't worried about the incident after the game.
"My personal opinion, I hit above the ball," he said.
"The refs didn't see it like that but that's footy."
Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett also thought Papalii might've been guilty of a shoulder charge.
"I just thought it was more a shoulder charge but it really wasn't because he did wrap his arm in the end," Bennett said.
"But I didn't take much notice after that, so I don't really know. I didn't even realise, I probably didn't think we were even going to get a penalty out of it."
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