Gold Coast’s finals push has been dealt a major blow with key forward Ryan James facing a one-week ban for a high shot that broke the jaw of Wests Tigers star James Tedesco.
The NRL match review committee on Sunday stung James with a grade two careless high tackle after collecting Tedesco in the 59th minute of Saturday’s last-gasp win over the Tigers in Campbelltown.
James’ right arm hit the face of Tedesco, who was falling after collecting a bomb in the backfield, however James wasn’t put on report and was only penalised for being offside from the kick.
Tedesco was taken to hospital where he was confirmed to have broken his jaw in two places and is now out for the rest of the season, cruelling the Tigers’ finals hopes.
The grade two charge carries 125 base penalty points, however a prior non-similar offence in the past two years lifted the points total to 150, and 112 with an early guilty plea.
The Titans now have until midday on Tuesday to decide whether to contest the charge at the judiciary.
A week’s suspension would sideline James, the Titans’ best forward this year, for next Saturday’s crucial clash against last-placed Newcastle at Hunter Stadium.
Gold Coast, who sit just one point above the Warriors and the Tigers in eighth spot, need to win to consolidate their place in the top eight with just three games remaining in the regular season.
Their final two games are against fellow top-eight contenders Penrith and North Queensland.
David Shillington was charged for making dangerous contact on Mitchell Moses in the 35th minute, however the Titans front-rower can escape suspension with an early guilty plea.
Meanwhile, South Sydney forward Zane Musgrove is looking at missing up to two games after committing a shoulder charge on Warriors prop Albert Vete.
Hit with a grade one charge, he’ll miss one game with an early guilty plea.