Cronulla forward Siosifa Talakai is facing six games on the NRL sidelines for a shoulder charge on Canterbury’s Matt Doorey.
Talakai on Sunday had a grade-three charge levelled against him for the shot that left Doorey concussed, with the Bulldogs the first team to activate their 18th man.
While not a traditional-looking shoulder charge, the NRL’s match review committee has decided Talakai did not wrap his arms in the tackle.
His shoulder then appeared to make contact with Doorey, resulting in him being sin-binned after the bunker intervened at the end of the set.
Talakai will escape with a four-week suspension with an early guilty plea, but if he unsuccessfully fights the charge or tries to have it downgraded he’ll be rubbed out for six matches.
Sharks caretaker coach Josh Hannay said he did not have a good view of the incident, while Bulldogs mentor Trent Barrett thought it was a big hit gone wrong.
“I don’t think it was intentional,” Barrett said.
“I know it was a good shot, but his arm wasn’t there. Those are the rules.”
The hit came in just Talakai’s second game back from shoulder surgery and capped off a horror night for the Sharks, who suffered a shock 18-12 loss.
Meanwhile, North Queensland’s upset win over Canberra has been somewhat soured with Mitchell Dunn charged for a crusher tackle on Ryan Sutton.
Dunn can miss one match with an early guilty plea or two if he unsuccessfully contests it at the judiciary.