South Sydney prop George Burgess is facing two weeks on the sidelines going into the finals after being charged by the NRL match review committee for throwing a drink bottle.
Burgess has been charged with grade two contrary conduct following an incident during Souths’ heavy loss to the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium on Friday.
A guilty verdict would see him miss his side’s elimination final against Cronulla on Sunday and a subsequent match should Souths progress any further.
The English Test front-rower will miss two games regardless of whether he pleads guilty or not guilty and his only chance to run out this weekend is if he successfully beats the charge or obtains a downgrade at the judiciary.
The match review committee took a dim view of his actions because he was sitting on the bench when he threw the plastic drink bottle at Sydney Roosters prop Kane Evans.
Both Burgess and Evans were charged with contrary conduct for their part in the 58th minute scuffle.
Evans started the push and shove when he threw the ball at the head of Rabbitohs back-rower Paul Carter but will be free to play with an early guilty plea to his grade one charge.
His Roosters teammate James Maloney will also be free to play in Friday’s qualifying final against Melbourne despite being charged with tripping.
The former NSW half was charged with a grade one tripping offence after he stuck his leg out at Souths’ Kyle Turner and collected him on the thigh.
Penrith’s Josh Mansour and Tupou Sopoaga and Newcastle’s Sione Mata’utia have been charged for their involvement in an ugly scuffle which came dangerously close to a group of young cheerleaders sitting on the sidelines.
All three were charged with contrary conduct for the 65th minute incident in Sunday’s wooden spoon play-off at Pepper Stadium.
The incident began on the field but spilled over onto the sidelines and several players came close to falling on a group of young girls who were sitting against the fence.
At one point, the girls’ minder had to push several players away so they didn’t tread on the youngsters.
The match review committee charged Mansour after he ran from the other side of the field to become involved.
Mansour and Sopoaga will be free to play with early guilty pleas while Mata’utia is facing a one-game ban regardless of his plea.
Newcastle forward Tariq Sims is facing missing the start of the 2016 season after he was cited for a shoulder charge on Panthers hooker James Segeyaro.
Sims was slapped with a grade two offence and faces four to six weeks out because of his poor record.
He was hit with 50 per cent loading because of a grade three charge which outed him for five weeks and prematurely ended his 2014 season. He also had 50 carry over points.
Wests Tigers veteran Dene Halatua can accept a one-game ban after he was charged with a shoulder charge on St George Illawarra’s Drew Hutchison.
He was also cited for a high tackle charge but will not serve any games for it.