McGuire takes big ban as Dragons hit hard

·3-min read

Josh McGuire has copped a five-week ban for his hip-drop tackle on Josh Addo-Carr, with the St George Illawarra forward one of four Dragons players to be suspended for a combined 13 NRL matches.

A stunning 10 incidents were picked up by the match review committee across three games on Sunday, taking the overall charge sheet for Magic Round to 24 matters.

That number is almost double the benchmark of 14 that was set the previous round, which at the time stood as the most of any weekend since at least 1999.

The Dragons are the hardest hit from Sunday's games, with McGuire, Tyrell Fuimaono, Mikaele Ravalawa and Tariq Sims all accepting the early guilty plea for bans of varying length.

McGuire's charge stems from an incident in which he fell onto the legs of Addo-Carr after coming into a tackle late, earning him a grade-three dangerous contact charge.

The early guilty plea will wipe him out for five games, but he was facing seven if he challenged the ruling and lost at the NRL judiciary.

His cause was also not helped by a horror judiciary record which included five charges in the past two years.

It comes after coach Anthony Griffin on Sunday defended the Dragons' recent acquisition.

"You've got to be able to tackle someone and the legs will sometimes get tangled up, so I want to get some clarification on that," Griffin said.

McGuire's ban ends any hope he had of claiming a spot back in Queensland's State of Origin side, after missing out last year.

The 31-year-old was also charged for a high tackle, but can escape with a $2600 fine.

Meanwhile, Fuimaono will also miss five weeks for a high shot that knocked out Ryan Papenhuyzen and was deemed reckless by the Match Review Committee.

Ravalawa has pleaded guilty to a shoulder charge on Justin Olam and will miss two weeks.

It comes as the winger was himself on return from a previous shoulder charge suspension, while Sims will miss one week for dangerous contact on Tyson Smoothie.

The mass suspensions come as the Dragons lose fullback Matt Dufty indefinitely to a shoulder injury.

Elsewhere, Gold Coast have also copped some pain.

Herman Ese'ese avoided his high shot on Brian To'o being considered reckless but could still miss either three or four games for the careless tackle.

Tyrone Peachey was charged with a crusher tackle on Liam Martin that threatens to sideline him for two games regardless of the plea.

Penrith had better news with Moses Leota and Dylan Edwards able to take fines for their indiscretions, as can Melbourne prop Christian Welch.

The Panthers' Martin was not charged for leading with the forearm while fending off Tanah Boyd.

The charges came after a weekend in which three players were sent off across the round for the first time since 1999, while 14 sin bins equalled the record for the NRL era.