'Grubbiest I've seen': James Roberts facing NRL ban for 'dumb' act

Chris Young
Sports Reporter

South Sydney centre James Roberts won't play before the NRL finals after being charged by the match review committee for his cheap shot on Brisbane's Corey Oates.

Roberts was on Saturday hit with a dangerous contact head/neck charge for the ugly incident in the Rabbitohs' spiteful win over the Broncos on Friday.

The former Bronco can accept a two-game ban with an early guilty plea which would see him next available for the first week of the finals.

He risks an extra week if he elects to take his case to the judiciary.

Roberts was sin-binned after hitting his former teammate with an elbow to the head as Oates lay face down on the ground.

James Roberts of the Rabbitohs is sent to the sin bin for illegal contact with Corey Oates of the Broncos. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Souths back-rower Jaydn Su'a will be free to play next week despite being charged with a grade one dangerous contact head/neck offence.

Su'a was also sin-binned for hitting Alex Glenn with an elbow in a tackle and will be free to play with an early guilty plea.

Roberts’ play roundly criticised

The Souths enforcer’s crude shot on former teammate Oates wasn’t looked upon kindly by league experts, with Phil Gould labelling Roberts’ act ‘stupid’.

Discussing the incident on The Friday Night Knock Off, Gould said it was the kind of thing the NRL needed to stamp out.

"That's the dumb stuff you don't need, you don't need that," Gould said.

"I think he deserved to go to the sin bin because he just did something stupid. He shouldn't have done that.

"He had saved a try, and then because he's playing against his ex-teammate he thinks I'll just give him one over the back of the ear with an elbow."

Fans were also less than impressed with Roberts’ shot on the unsuspecting Oates.