NRL come down hard on Canterbury

The NRL has sent out a strong message to players who berate match officials by slapping three Canterbury players with contrary conduct charges on Monday.

With the fall-out from the explosive Good Friday encounter with South Sydney still raging, Bulldogs skipper James Graham, fellow prop David Klemmer and hooker Michael Lichaa were all sanctioned by the NRL match review committee for comments made to Gerard Sutton.

Graham, who was also charged with dangerous contact for his attempted charge down that left Adam Reynolds with knee ligament damage, is facing up to five weeks suspension.

The Englishman is looking at a 1-2 week ban for the incident which is set to sideline Reynolds for up to four months and stands to get a further 2-3 weeks for contrary conduct.

Reynolds is still waiting to find the full extent of the damage and will visit a surgeon on Friday.

Klemmer faces a 2-3 week ban for the spray he gave Sutton over the same crucial incident in the dying moments of the game that led to him being sin-binned.

Lichaa will escape a suspension with an early guilty plea to his grade one charge.

In a further blow to Des Hasler’s side, giant prop Sam Kasiano is looking at a 2-3 week ban for making dangerous contact with Issac Luke’s head or neck as the South Sydney hooker was scoring a try just before halftime.

The Bulldogs are also without injured fullback Brett Morris who is facing six weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring issue and centre Tim Lafai who injured his left knee.

But there was one positive for the club with Josh Morris escaping sanction after his boot to the head of Luke was deemed accidental.

Hasler must now find a new skipper for next Sunday’s encounter with St George Illawarra with prop Aiden Tolman the front-runner to lead the team out against the Dragons.

Souths stand to lose George Burgess for one match after he copped a dangerous contact charge for an incident involving Canterbury forward Josh Jackson.

Sydney Roosters pair Aidan Guerra and Michael Jennings copped charges from their upset loss to Cronulla on Sunday.

Guerra, who looks set to be sidelined anyway with a cheekbone fracture, was charged with a dangerous throw charge on Chris Heighington and will miss one match with an early guilty plea.

Jennings caught Luke Lewis with a high tackle in the dying minutes and can escape a suspension with an early guilty plea.

Canberra winger Jordan Rapana will also be available for selection this week with an early guilty plea to a grade-one high tackle on Jamie Buhrer.

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