Souths hooker Issac Luke says he feared he would have his neck broken in a Michael Ennis tackle.
South Sydney hooker Issac Luke says he lashed out at Michael Ennis following a tackle from the Canterbury captain because he feared his neck would be broken.
Luke revealed his fears while defending his actions before the NRL judiciary on Tuesday night after being charged with grade one dangerous contact.
“I felt a lot of pressure going through my neck and I found it hard to breathe,” he said.
“I was panicking about my neck being broken.
“I have kids that I want to put food in their mouths.
“I was trying to get my neck out of that position.”
“All I was trying to do was break out of that hold.
“It was pretty scary.”
Luke’s defence was accepted by the judiciary panel of Mal Cochrane, Michael Vella and Paul Whatuira, who deliberated for seven minutes before finding the Kiwi rake not guilty.
Luke is now free to play in Thursday’s final round NRL clash with premiers the Sydney Roosters.
Brisbane forward Sam Thaiday wasn’t so lucky.
The Queensland and Kangaroos representative will miss Friday’s match against Melbourne after being found guilty of a grade one crusher tackle on St George Illawarra forward Will Matthews in the Broncos win last Friday.
Thaiday will be available for the first week of the finals, if the Broncos are there.
“I have every confidence we will win the game and be in that eight, and really cement a spot,” Thaiday said.
“I was glad I came down here and disappointed with the result but I have to cop it on the chin.”