Watene-Zelezniak suspension ends second chance at debut

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak will have to wait until November this year to make his debut for the New Zealand after being suspended by the National Rugby League Match Review Committee.

The man nicknamed ‘DWZ’ took an early guilty plea for his 75th minute tackle on Cronulla’s Wade Graham.  Jason Nightingale has been named as his replacement.

Set to debut at last year’s Four Nations Tournament, Watene-Zelezniak suffered an ankle injury on the eve of competition.  His next chance to play for the Kiwis comes on November 1 when they travel to England for a three match series.

In other judicial news, Chris Heighington has taken an early plea and received a three week ban for a dangerous throw on Jeremy Latimore.  This has Eels fans up in arms after Junior Paulo received a lengthy suspension for his tackle on Matt Ballin in his side’s 42-12 win over Manly.  Both were Grade 3 charges.

Jeremy Smith won’t miss a game after an early plea for tripping Ben Hannant in the Knights loss to the Cowboys.  Dylan Napa will also be free to play after pleading guilty to a careless high tackle on Josh Dugan.  Josh Maguire’s tackle on Brad Taikarangi has resulted in no ban after an early plea.

Steve Matai has pleaded guilty to a careless high tackle on Will Chambers in Manly’s upset win over Melbourne at AAMI Park on Saturday night.  However he will take his contrary conduct charge (making contact with an official) to the judiciary. If he is found guilty Matai will miss his side’s encounter with Newcastle in round nine.


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