JWH gets seven-game ban, Horsburgh to miss four matches

Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves won't play for the Sydney Roosters until 2024 and his Test career for New Zealand is likely over after he was slugged with two suspensions totalling a whopping seven games.

On a dramatic Tuesday night at the NRL judiciary, Canberra firebrand Corey Horsburgh had a three-game suspension boosted to four matches after failing to have a shoulder-charge penalty dismissed.

Horsburgh, whose suspension starts with Canberra's crucial final-round clash with Cronulla on Sunday, could return for the Green Machine this season but only in the unlikely event Ricky Stuart's men reach the grand final.

The decision to contest a grade-two dangerous-contact charge is likely to prove far more costly for Roosters enforcer Waerea-Hargreaves though.

The 34-year-old had already accepted a three-game ban for headbutting Wests Tigers forward Stefano Utoikamanu in a melee on Saturday.

Waerea-Hargreaves was seeking to have a hit on Tigers hooker Api Koroisau reduced to a grade one, which would have cleared him to return in the preliminary final if the Roosters get there.

But NRL counsel Lachlan Giles made a convincing argument to the judiciary panel of Bob Lindner and former referee Sean Hampstead, claiming the hit was like a "metaphorical freight train".

Lindner and Hampstead agreed unanimously, condemning Waerea-Hargreaves to seven weeks on the sideline in total.

The moment of madness is likely to cost Waerea-Hargreaves a chance to represent the Roosters in Las Vegas and, given he turns 35 next year, likely puts an end to his Test career.

The NZRL will need to make it clear Waerea-Hargreaves would have been picked for this year's end-of-season Tests, otherwise the Roosters would be lumped with his whole seven-game suspension.

Waerea-Hargreaves declined to speak to the media after the verdict.

Roosters head coach Trent Robinson was not present on Tuesday.

Horsburgh received similarly bad news in the day's earlier hearing.

Supported by club chief executive Don Furner and Canberra drum-banging superfan Simon Tayoun at League Central, Horsburgh was risking further suspension by contesting his hit on Brisbane prop Corey Jensen.

Horsburgh's lawyer Nick Ghabar claimed the 25-year-old had shown a clear attempt to wrap his arm around Jensen when smashing into him late in Saturday's defeat.

But Lindner and Hampstead found against Horsburgh, beefing a three-game suspension out to four weeks.

"I'm very disappointed with the result, I think four weeks is a bit much but onwards and upwards," Horsburgh said.

Horsburgh's chances of featuring for the Green Machine in 2023 hinge on his teammates reaching the grand final.

That task has got even harder with prop Josh Papali'i ruled out for the rest of the year on Tuesday with a biceps injury.

"It's going to make it harder but someone else will get an opportunity," said Furner.

"We wouldn't have come up here if we didn't think we had a case."