Wests Tigers skipper James Tamou’s two-game ban has been downgraded to just one game following a successful fight at the NRL judiciary on Tuesday night.
Tamou was hit with a grade three contrary conduct charge for saying “f***ing incompetent you are” to referee Ben Cummins in the final two minutes of the Tigers’ 72-6 loss to the Roosters.
The veteran prop was initially sin-binned in the dying minutes for saying “f**k off” but after his second outburst “incompetent” Cummins upgraded the binning to a send off.
The grade three charge carried a two-week suspension, effectively ending off-contract Tamou’s season — and potentially his career — on a very sour note.
Tamou pleaded guilty to contrary conduct but fronted the judiciary on Tuesday night in a bid to downgrade the charge.
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The verdict means the 34-year-old will be free to play in the Tigers’ final game of the season in Round 25 at Leichhardt Oval.
“I’ll tell you what, if the result didn’t go well tonight, it would have been hard to live with myself knowing that was my last game just gone on the weekend,” Tamou said after the hearing.
“It’s hard to miss a week, but it’s deserved. It will be hard to watch the boys go out there.
“To play one more time with them will be unreal, I’m pretty happy with that.
“If it’s my last game in the NRL, I’m not too sure. Once I feel like I’m behind the eight-ball I’ll be the first to put my hand up. We’ll see where the off-season goes.
“Who knows, it could be the last time I suit up… Everything is on the table, including retirement.”
It comes after a shattered Tamou fronted the media in the press conference following Saturday’s loss issued an emotional apology for his behaviour.
“I’m embarrassed. I’ve let a lot of people down,” he said.
“Instead of looking myself in the mirror and being accountable, I took it out on the wrong people and again that’s taking the easy way out. I’m obviously shattered.”
He also admitted his “heart dropped” when he realised the incident could spell the end of his 304-game career.
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