Canberra’s top four ambitions have been dealt a blow with forward Luke Bateman facing a one-week NRL ban for his crusher tackle on Newcastle’s Daniel Saifiti on Sunday.
Despite not attracting a penalty on field during the game, Bateman was on Monday slapped with a grade-one dangerous contact charge by the NRL match review committee for the first half incident.
A prior offence in the last two years added 50 per cent to the original 100-point charge, meaning Bateman will have to overturn the charge at the NRL judiciary to play against North Queensland next Monday.
Bateman’s possible suspension adds to a growing toll out of the Raiders’ last-gasp win over the Knights, which included prop Shannon Boyd coming off with a leg injury.
Raiders hooker Kurt Baptiste was hit with a grade-one dangerous throw on the Knights’ Nathan Ross but can escape suspension with an early guilty plea.
Canberra are currently sixth on the table on 21 points, just one point behind 4th-placed Canterbury.
Brisbane Josh McGuire (dangerous throw) and the Wests Tigers’ Josh Aloai (tripping) also copped charges by the MRC over the weekend but will be free to play with early guilty pleas.