11-07-2018 by admin

DRAGONS forward Joel Thompson was left deeply disappointed at missing the club’s annual indigenous game, after accepting an early guilty plea for a high shot on Canberra’s Blake Austin.

Missing out: Dragons forward Joel Thompson has been suspended for a week after Thursday’s win over Canberra. Picture: Getty Images

Thompson was not penalised for the incident, which left Austin with a bloody nose during St George Illawarra’s golden point win at Kogarah.

However, the match review panel slapped him with a grade one careless high tackle charge and carry over points meant he faced a week on the sidelines.

A leading indigenous ambassador in the Illawarra, Thompson has the Aboriginal flag tattooed just below his neck.

A New Zealander with indigenous Maori background, Russell Packer said Thompson had felt a personal pain in accepting his one-week penalty.

“Joel’s a big advocate for indigenous initiatives, he’s very disappointed to be out of this game,” Packer said.

“But that’s the way the cookie crumbles with the charging system.

“I’m pretty sure he’ll be around and reminding the boys of the significance of the round and the jersey.

“The whole point is to raise awareness (of indigenous culture and issues) by wearing the jerseys.”

The NRL held its official indigenous round last weekend, but Souths and the Dragons have joined forces to celebrate it in Thursday night’s clash.Indigenous superstar Greg Inglis produced a stunning pass to setup Luke Keary’s try in the Friday night victory over Parramatta.

Former Eels player Dean Widders addressed the Dragons squad at WIN Stadium on Monday about some of thecultural significance and indigenous programs the NRL is involved in.The Dragons prevailed with a grinding 8-6 win over the Rabbitohs at the SCG in round three.Packer said the team is gaining confidence after their fighting win over the Raiders.

“It was an exciting way to win, the coaches probably didn’t feel the same way,” he said.“We probably should have put it to bed a bit earlier with the possession we had, but we’re fighting hard for anything at the moment.”

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