Roosters blow: Radley, Smith face long sideline stints
The Sydney Roosters have been dealt a double blow with Victor Radley's horror judiciary record coming back to haunt him and Brandon Smith ruled for up to eight weeks with a thumb injury.
Radley was on Saturday hit with a minimum three-game ban for headbutting Blake Lawrie in Friday night's NRL loss to St George Illawarra, after lashing out at the prop in a fight.
The Roosters lock was handed the relatively light charge of a grade-one striking offence for his contact.
Under normal circumstances Radley would have been able to take a $1500 fine and ensure he was free to face Canterbury after next week's bye.
But the fact Radley has had four previous offences in the past 12 months alone means he is not eligible for that penalty.
Instead, he will only be able to take a three-game ban with an early guilty plea, ruling him out of games against the Bulldogs, Penrith and Newcastle.
If he opts to fight the charge and loses, he will miss a fourth match against Canberra in round 17.
Radley's absence would come as a significant blow to the Roosters, who will also be without Smith for six-to-eight weeks after he suffered a thumb fracture.
The hooker will undergo surgery early this week, but is now not expected to return until after the State of Origin period.
The Roosters are traditionally hit hard during that time, with James Tedesco, Angus Crichton and Lindsay Collins set to be in and out of Origin camp over the next two months.
Radley has spoken repeatedly about cleaning up his game and putting an end to stints on the sideline and sin-binnings, but has so far been unable to do so.
His charge comes after Lawrie said he held no ill-will towards Radley for the incident.
Tempers frayed in the first half of the Dragons' 24-22 win at Jubilee Stadium after Dragons centre Zac Lomax slammed Corey Allan into the ground as he attempted to strip the ball.
Radley rushed in to man-handle Lomax, sparking a melee between the sides.
But Lawrie shrugged the head-butting incident off post-match.
"I love 'Rads', he's the ultimate competitor, absolutely great player. There's no hard feelings at all from my end," he said.
"Whatever the match review committee comes up with, it is what it is. I'm staying out of it."
Roosters coach Trent Robinson claimed not to have seen the incident and was unsure whether Radley would face scrutiny from the match review committee.
Lomax avoided charge on Saturday for his role in the incident while Roosters forwards Nathan Brown and Collins avoided charges for a high shot and dangerous tackle respectively.