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Titans call in boof's 'victim'

THE Gold Coast Titans may ask Newcastle forward Mark Taufua to appear as a key defence witness for Anthony Laffranchi in his bid to beat a low-grade striking charge at tomorrow night's NRL judiciary.

(Boof) Laffranchi will plead not guilty to a grade one striking charge that he used his forearm to Taufua's head in a tackle.

Titans boss Michael Searle said yesterday there was a “big chance” his club would contact Newcastle's chief executive Steve Burraston to see how Taufua would feel about being a witness.

“I believe after the game he (Taufua) commented he was shocked the player had been put on report for it,” Searle said.

“That tells me it was probably incidental contact and that it wasn't reckless.”

Titans coach John Cartwright will fly to Sydney with Laffranchi.

“As a club we need to ensure the fabric of the game is not diluted by some of these striking charges.

“Our game is about body contact, physicality and aggression and occasionally there's going to be incidental or accidental contact,” Searle said.

Searle said Laffranchi didn't have a malicious bone in his body, making about 50 tackles per game without incident.

Laffranchi will miss the chance to play in Scott Prince's 200th premiership game against Brisbane on Friday night if he is unsuccessful at the judiciary.

Melbourne five-eighth Brett Finch has no such concerns after taking an early plea to a charge of using his feet in a dangerous fashion on the weekend which clears him to play Canberra on Monday.



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