Representative forward Lindsay Collins could miss the Sydney Roosters’ NRL finals campaign after pleading guilty to the dangerous contact charge incurred for his hip drop tackle on Tom Eisenhuth.
Collins was handed a grade three charge, the worst category possible, for his hit late in the Roosters’ defeat of fellow premiership heavyweights Melbourne on Friday night.
The match was Collins’ first back from a concussion lay-off but he will now miss four more games, meaning the Queensland State of Origin forward will only feature again this season if the Roosters make the grand final.
Collins’ history of prior offences meant his ban was longer than otherwise.
The 26-year-old had been considered a chance to fight his charge in a bid to play again sooner, but would have risked sitting five games out if found guilty at the judiciary.
Collins will miss the last game of the regular season, the Roosters’ elimination final and their two games after that, which could be a semi and a preliminary final.
If the Roosters are eliminated early, Collins’ suspension will stretch into next season.
The NRL has begun coming down hard on instances of the hip drop tackle, an illegal move where a defender grips onto the ball-carrier and, using their hips, applies dangerous pressure to the rival’s legs.
The tackle can cause serious damage and the Storm have already confirmed Eisenhuth has been left with a season-ending ankle injury.
Collins’ Roosters teammates Victor Radley and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves have entered guilty pleas for their respective dangerous contact and contrary conduct charges but will escape suspension with fines.
Renouf rips into ‘soft’ Broncos
Broncos legend Steve Renouf has taken aim at any Brisbane players who were put out by coach Kevin Walters’ post-game spray by calling them “soft, privileged knobs”.
In the wake of reports that some members of the team were upset about getting a bake from the coach after their 53-6 capitulation at the hands of Parramatta, the former international took to social media to tell them to not be so sensitive.
“Precious soft privileged knobs! Toughen up boys!” he wrote on Twitter.
Brisbane dropped to ninth on percentages after the loss and need to thrash the Dragons or hope Canberra lose to the Wests Tigers in the final round to qualify for the playoffs about being in the top four a month ago.
“The Pearl” was an integral member of Brisbane’s four premierships in the 1990s and he was not the only former player disgusted with the team’s reaction to Walters giving them a well-deserved serve.
Former Broncos captain Gorden Tallis said the coach had a right to unload on the players after such an inspid performance.
“It’s a high-pressure situation where at the moment what do you want them to say?” he said on Triple M.
“Whoever those two who whinged and whoever they whinged to, that boke (Walters) should just write a line through them because if I found out and I’m in that organisation, I don’t want to play with that guy.
“If I got called soft, my response is I’m going to prove him wrong.”
His Triple M stablemate Mark Geyer slammed the “entitlement of young players these days”.
“I agree 100% with what Gordie says. If you get called soft you go and atone, I want to prove you wrong coach. It’s something that mirrors society.”
Geyer said it was “unbelievable” that the Broncos had plummeted to ninth on the back of four losses from their past five outings.
Kelly faces lengthy ban
Gold Coast centre Brian Kelly is set to miss the last NRL game of the year and the first three of next season for up-ending Newcastle’s Dominic Young on Sunday.
Kelly was sent from the field early in the second half but the Titans managed to secure a 36-26 victory, despite playing the final 29 minutes of the game with only 12 men.
Young was not injured but the NRL has nevertheless been tough on one-man dangerous throws this season. Penrith co-captain Nathan Cleary is in the midst of a five-game suspension for a similar tackle while Brent Naden and Karl Lawton each missed four matches earlier in the year.
Kelly has been hit with a grade-three dangerous throw charge, the worst category available, and will miss four games if he takes an early guilty plea.
He risks sitting out for five by taking his case to the judiciary but, given the Titans are out of finals contention, the club appears unlikely to contest the charge.
Gold Coast veteran Isaac Liu can accept a $1000 fine for his crusher tackle on the Knights’ Krystian Mapapalangi and will not miss any game time.
A week after James Tamou was slapped with a grade three contrary conduct charge for referee dissent, St George Illawarra utility Jack Bird has escaped scrutiny for arguing with referee Liam Kennedy against Wests Tigers.
Bird conceded a penalty for tackling fullback Daine Laurie mid-air and then gave the Tigers a ten-metre advantage for talking back to Kennedy.
After he continued to bicker, Bird found himself sin-binned just three minutes after his teammate Cody Ramsey returned from a 10-minute spell of his own. Bird faces no penalty for his outburst.
Tigers centre Asu Kepaoa is likely to miss the last game of his side’s season for a hit on Zac Lomax, which gave the Dragons the chance to kick a penalty goal and win the game on Sunday.
Kepaoa was binned for making contact with Lomax’s head and has been hit with a grade two careless high tackle charge.
He can accept a one-match ban but will miss two games if he unsuccessfully pleads his case.
In the NRLW, Gold Coast second-rower Zara Canfield is poised to miss this weekend’s Queensland derby after receiving a grade two careless high tackle charge.
Late in Sunday’s game, Canfield was sin-binned for her tackle on superstar Newcastle fullback Tamika Upton and risks missing two games by taking her case to the judiciary.
The Titans have dropped their first two games and given the short length of the season, cannot afford to go down to Brisbane this weekend.
Canfield’s Titans teammate Laikha Clarke and Parramatta’s Kennedy Cherrington were both charged with dangerous contact but have escaped with warnings.
Albo’s inside knowledge to benefit Bunnies
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese could be the secret weapon for South Sydney in their Allianz Stadium blockbuster against the Roosters on Friday night.
Star hooker Damien Cook is in doubt to play in the clash which will decide which of the two teams hosts a sudden-death final in week one of the playoffs.
Cook tested positive to COVID-19 on Saturday morning and was ruled out of the win over the Cowboys later that night.
Under existing rules he would need to serve a seven-day isolation period before being allowed to play again, however the Sydney Morning Herald has reported the PM has tipped off the Rabbitohs about a potential change.
National cabinet will meet on Wednesday with the isolation period set to be reduced to five days, which could mean Cook suits up against the Roosters.
Both teams are locked on 28 competition points and guaranteed a playoff berth but the winner will finish fifth or sixth and earn hosting rights for the playoff opener.