IPSWICH Jets second rower Sam Martin was a relieved man yesterday.
So were the Jets, with Martin cleared to play in Sunday's Queensland Cup elimination semi-final against Tweed Heads.
Martin was on report for two incidents from last weekend's win over Redcliffe, a high tackle and a trip.
It was ruled he had no case to answer for the tripping incident.
The high tackle was declared a grade one careless high tackle, meaning it didn't carry enough weight to rule him out this week.
"I'm heaps relieved," Martin said yesterday.
"I was worried. I didn't think I was going to get off."
Martin's fear was justified, given his poor disciplinary record at the judiciary in previous seasons.
While he didn't think there was anything to worry about with the trip charge, the high tackle had him concerned.
"It was just the high shot," he said.
"Because of my record.
"With other tackles I've got a bit of a nasty record.
"I've been suspended every year since '06 at least."
No one who has seen Martin play would describe him as a remotely dirty player.
If anything, Martin has been a victim of his own exuberance, often so eager to make a tackle that he hasn't got enough time to react without it going wrong.
He likes to get in the opposition's face and when it works is a huge asset for the Jets, unsettling opposition attacks and forcing errors.
But Martin has still taken steps to reduce the chances of things going wrong and had not been cited so far this season.
Saturday was another example of Martin's keenness to get up quickly in defence going slightly awry, with potentially devastating consequences.
"With the trip, I rushed out and he stepped me and I slipped," Martin said.
"My leg came out and I'm just lucky I didn't make contact."
It was a similar scenario with the high shot.
"He was running towards the inside and threw an inside ball," Martin said.
"I through an arm out and caught him high."
Fortunately the QRL judiciary saw both incidents in a similar light to Martin.
The Jets could ill afford to have lost the hard-working backrower, given his experience and the fact that fellow backrower Josh Seage was ruled out for the season a week earlier.
While the Jets will be grateful to see Martin get off, the news isn't so good for Tweed Heads.
Seagulls second rower Corey Blair has incurred a grade two dangerous throw charge from Tweed's late escape win over Mackay. An early guilty plea would see him miss two games.
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