Newcastle Rugby: Beaches centre wiped out for five weeks for lifting tackle against old club Lake Macquarie

BANNED: Caileb Gerrard in full flight for Lake Macquarie last season. The centre now plays for Southern Beaches and has been suspended for five weeks for a lifting tackle against his old club. Picture: Marina Neil

SOUTHERN Beaches will be without Newcastle centre Caileb Gerrard for five matches after he was found guilty on Wednesday night of a lifting tackle.

Gerrard was given a yellow card for atackle on Lake Macquarie breakaway Andre Prinsloo inBeaches’47-33 win over the Roos in round five.He was cited and offered a three-game ban ifhe took an early guilty plea.However, Beaches tried to have the charge down-graded and were unsuccessful.

IN LINE: Lake Macquarie prop Barcelona Lupematasila is in contention to win a place in the NSW Country squad. Picture: Stewart Hazell

* Lake Macquarie are safe in Premier Rugby for now.

The NHRU board have reviewed video of the Roos 113-14 loss to Wanderers in first grade and 109-0 defeat in seconds.

The Herald understands the consensus is that there were no safety issues, which is the main factor in determining if the club continues on the top competition.

However, the union have reserved making a decision until after Saturday’s clash against leaders Merewether at Townson Oval.

The Roos welcome back prop and NSW Country hopeful BarcelonaLupematasila.

* Winger Hamish McKie marked his first grade debut for Hamilton with a try in the 62-14 win over University. McKie is the son of former Hawks president Michael McKie.

* Nelson Bay winger Kerrod McLean played his 100thfirst grade game in the 27-12 loss to Merewether.

* Former Maitland junior NicWhite will play for Exeter against Saracens in the final of the English Premiership on Saturday. His parents Tom and Di have flown over for the decider at Twickenham. White was man-of-the-match in the semi-final.

*Lupematasila and Maitland fullback Chris Logan will learn on Monday’sif their efforts at a training camp in Singleton l were enough to win a place in the Cockatoos 23-man squad for the clash againstSouthern Inland at Camden on June 17. Newcastle have dominated Country selection in recent seasons but a number of players made themselves unavailable much to the frustration of coach Matt Thomas.

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