Jets star Lorenzo Maafu fights suspension
DAMAGING ball runner Lorenzo Maafu will tonight front the judiciary in a desperate bid to be cleared for Ipswich's crucial Queensland Cup clash with Souths Logan Magpies at Briggs Road on Saturday.
Maafu - who played four NRL games for the Canterbury Bulldogs last year - has been charged with a headbutt stemming from the round 13 loss to the Northern Pride.
An early guilty plea would've seen Maafu suspended for one game, but the Jets have decided to roll the dice to ensure the powerful backrower is on deck to face the second-placed Magpies.
Maafu already has 93 demerit points due to an earlier indiscretion this season.
If Maafu is unsuccessful he will also miss next week's match against the improving Tweed Heads Seagulls.
“Lorenzo's a bit of a victim of circumstance really,” Jets CEO Brad Wolens said.
“He got tackled by the legs and was trying to bullock his way out when another player came over the top.
“Lorenzo tried to get up and in the process he's been done with a headbutt.
“I'd say he's a 50/50 chance.”
Maafu's absence would be a devastating blow to the ninth-placed Jets, who need to win six of their final nine games to make the top six.
“He's been one of our best players and one of our most consistent,” Wolens said.
“Whenever he puts the jersey on he gives 100 per cent and never lets you down.
“We're really pleased we've got him signed for next year, he's locked in.”
Along with Maafu, there's also doubt over the availability of fullback Troy O'Sullivan (hamstring) and interchange forward Jacob Ling (ankle).
There is some bright news, with gun halfback Ian Lacey named to play despite suffering what was initially thought to be a serious leg injury against the Pride.
“We haven't seen him, but the Titans staff tell us he's recovered quite well,” Wolens said.
Wolens said there was also a chance Titans prop Matt White would be available for the Jets with Gold Coast having the bye.
Souths Logan will bring a side brimming with Canberra Raiders, including noted flyer Adrian Purtell, prop Joe Picker and dangerous custodian Josh Dugan.