NRL 2019: Canberra forward Hudson Young to defend eye-gouging charge against Warriors

Canberra forward Hudson Young will fight his dangerous contact charge, after pleading not guilty before his Tuesday trip to the NRL judiciary.

Young was referred straight to the judiciary, after a hand-in-the-face incident involving Warriors winger Adam Pompey in Saturday's match in Canberra.

Young copped a five-game ban earlier in the season over a similar incident and a long suspension would rub him out of Canberra's finals campaign, if found guilty.

The 21-year-old Young headlines a marathon night at the judiciary, with Sydney 
Roosters and Kiwis star Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Parramatta forward Kane Evans also fighting to play in the first week of finals.

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart admitted Young deserved a grading for stupidity, but 
criticised "unfair hysteria" in some commentary, before the rookie fronts the judiciary.

"I'm just concerned about the kid's welfare," said Stuart on Monday, adamant Young did not eye-gouge Pompey. "The hysteria that has been raised through this is unfair. 

"There has been some childish comments about it. I'm really disappointed in some of the comments that have been aimed at Hudson, because it might sound funny to you, but he's got a mother out there, who is really in desperate need for her son - she's very upset.

"Hudson is very upset. We've got to think about the person here as well.

"He did not intentionally go in to gouge the young player from the Warriors and he didn't gouge him - the young player said that.

"I'll leave everything else to our lawyer, but I'm more worried about the personal welfare of Hudson, because - at this moment - him and his family are under a lot of stress and pressure."

Young will be represented by top lawyer Nick Ghabar and Canberra's defence is expected to point at North Queensland forward Josh Maguire escaping with fines twice this season for delivering 'facials' - a hand rubbed across an opponent's face.

"Where [Young] had his hand was stupid and if there's a grading for stupidity, that's what it is," Stuart said.

"Was it a facial? Yeah, probably a facial, but he had his hand caught on his face, after he went in at the ball the second time.

"He didn't find the ball, then all of a sudden - and this is Hudson's words - he ripped it out of there, knowing he'd been in trouble before.

"Stupidity, yes. Accident, I don't know."


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