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Titans boss glad James cited, then cleared

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/03/2017 Scott Bailey

Ryan James of the Titans during the round one NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Sydney Roosters at Cbus Super Stadium on March 4, 2017 in Gold Coast, Australia.  (Photo by Jason O'Brien/Getty Images) © Jason O'Brien/Getty Images/Getty Images Ryan James of the Titans during the round one NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Sydney Roosters at Cbus Super Stadium on March 4, 2017 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Jason O'Brien/Getty Images) Gold Coast chief executive Graham Annesley is happy Titans skipper Ryan James was cited for a shoulder charge, even if he did successfully defend him at the NRL judiciary.

James was cleared of a shoulder charge by a three-man panel on Tuesday night and will face the Warriors in Auckland on Sunday, after he made contact with North Queensland opposite Patrick Kaufusi's head with his left upper arm.

"We're not complaining about the fact that the charge was made," Annesley said after James was cleared.

"We all want to see players protected on the field and the game has a duty of care.

"It's a process that is aimed to protect the integrity of the game and the welfare of players and we expect that."

James would have missed the match Mt Smart Stadium had he pleaded guilty to the charge.

However, he risked missing the following week's home clash with the Raiders by fighting the charge, had he not won.

But both he and Annesley were able to successfully argue that James was merely bracing for a collision with teammate Jarrod Wallace when he made "glancing" contact with Kaufusi, and he will therefore escape without suspension.

"We felt on balance that Ryan, there were extenuating circumstances over what happened on the field," Annesley said.

"It wasn't a traditional shoulder charge as we would expect if there was a charge for one."

Ryan's clearance was a crucial one for the injury-plagued Titans.

Fellow forward Agnatius Passi was on Tuesday ruled out for a month, while new recruit Chris Grevsmuhl is likely to be rushed into the side to face the Warriors.

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