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Bateman avoids charge for high shot

Canberra have breathed a sigh of relief with John Bateman avoiding a ban for a high tackle while they still face another nervous wait on the injury front.

The Raiders had feared Bateman would be charged for a late high shot on Stephen Crichton in Saturday’s loss to Penrith.

However his name did not appear on the charge sheet on Sunday morning, allaying any concerns over Canberra’s strength of numbers in the back row.

Canterbury half Lachlan Lewis wasn’t so lucky, picked up twice for two separate high shots and facing a fortnight on the sidelines.

Meanwhile the Raiders are still unsure if hooker Siliva Havili will be sidelined with a triceps issue.

Havili was injured early in the second half of the loss, further compounding their woes out of dummy half.

The Tongan utility has been the Green Machine’s starting hooker since Josh Hodgson was ruled out for the season.

Youngster Tom Starling is their other hooking option, but has never started in his eight-game NRL career and it would be a tough ask for him to play 80 minutes.

Kurt Baptiste would shape as the other alternative, after only being signed on a short-term deal last week.

The 29-year-old hasn’t played in the NRL since last June and was due to play in the Queensland Cup this year before that competition was cancelled.

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