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James to walk judiciary tightrope

AAP logoAAP 17/08/2016 James MacSmith

Ryan James will be forced to walk a late season tightrope, something Canberra hooker Josh Hodgson opted not to, after the Gold Coast forward escaped a ban at the NRL judiciary despite breaking James Tedesco's jaw.

In one of the more unusual judiciary meeting in recent history, James was found guilty of a careless high tackle but had his grading reduced and will avoid a suspension.

However, he was hit with 90 demerit points meansing the Titans prop could miss an end of season match, including a finals fixture if Gold Coast qualify, for a minor charge.

"He will have to be careful," Titans coach Neil Henry conceded of one of the NRL's most penalised players.

On Tuesday, Hodgson opted to plead no contest to a dangerous contact charge, which earned him a one-match suspension but left him free of demerit points moving forward.

Oddly James had judiciary panel member Royce Ayliffe to thank for the lesser punishment, after defence counsel Jim Hall only sought a downgrade after prompting from the former Sydney Roosters firebrand.

James is now free to play in the Titans round 24 clash against Newcastle at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.

"We came down here, thinking the speed at which it happened (meant) it wasn't a careless action by Ryan," Henry said.

"The judiciary said it was on the lower end of carelessness. They took into account how fast the action happened and the fact Tedesco was dropping.

"We had a fair hearing. We're disappointed in one regard. But the speed these things can happen at in the game means there was no malice on Ryan's behalf."

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