Cronulla backrower Chris Heighington faces up to five weeks on the NRL sidelines for his ugly lifting tackle on Penrith forward Jeremy Latimore.
Heighington was hit with a grade three dangerous throw charge for the first half tackle in the Sharks’ loss at Penrith on Sunday, following the release of the NRL match review committee’s charge sheet on Monday.
The charge carries with it a three-match ban if Heighington takes the early guilty plea. However he faces five games out if he chooses to fight the charge at the NRL judiciary and loses.
Kiwi star Dallin Watene-Zelzniak is set to miss Friday’s Test against Australia after being charged with a grade one dangerous throw on Wade Graham in the same round eight fixture. Even with an early guilty plea Watene-Zelezniak will earn a one-match suspension.
Sydney Roosters prop Dylan Napa has escaped censure for his controversial tackle on St George Illawarra’s Euan Aitken, that prompted accusations of diving from Tricolours coach Trent Robinson against the rookie Dragons centre.
However Napa was charged with a grade one careless high tackle on Josh Dugan in the Anzac Day fixture, but will avoid suspension with the early plea.
Manly’s Steve Matai faces a week on the sideline after being charged with making contact with referee Matt Cecchin in the Sea Eagles’ win over Melbourne.
Matai was also hit with a grade one careless high tackle charge on Will Chambers, to go with his grade one contrary conduct – contact with match official charge. Those offences coupled together means Matai will earn a week’s rest even with two early guilty pleas.
Newcastle’s Jeremy Smith (grade one tripping) and Brisbane’s Josh McGuire (grade one careless high tackle) can both avoid a week’s ban if they take the early guilty plea.