The news doesn’t get any better for St George Illawarra, with powerful forward Trent Merrin to miss the next month for his part in a lifting tackle in NSW’s State of Origin capitulation.
On a four-match losing streak, the Dragons could ill-afford to be without their big back-rower as they try to consolidate their spot in the NRL top eight.
However on Thursday, Merrin submitted an early guilty plea for his ugly tackle – a grade-two dangerous throw charge – on Corey Parker during the Blues’ massive Origin decider loss to Queensland on Wednesday night.
He will miss the Dragons’ next four games, making him next available for the Dragons’ round-22 match against the Warriors on August 8.
Fellow Blues forwards Beau Scott and James Tamou will sit out one NRL match each after submitting early guilty pleas to charges.
Scott was slapped with a grade-one dangerous throw charge for his tackle on Queensland skipper Cameron Smith, and will subsequently sit out Newcastle’s clash with Canberra this Friday.
Tamou will miss North Queensland’s visit to Brookvale to face Manly on Monday July 20, after being charged with a grade-two careless high tackle for a clumsy effort on Jacob Lillyman in the second half.