Cronulla halfback Chad Townsend is facing a five week ban for his shoulder charge on Newcastle's Kalyn Ponga, which means he may not play again this NRL season.
Townsend's shot on Ponga was deemed a grade three shoulder charge by the NRL match review committee and he will be rubbed out for five weeks if he challenges the charge and is found guilty.
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He can take an early guilty plea which means he will miss the Sharks' final three round robin matches and return for week one of finals.
In another blow for Cronulla, his teammates, Wade Graham and Toby Rudolf, have also been charged for a dangerous throw after they were put on report for an alleged lifting tackle on Mason Lino.
Townsend was sent off for his hit on Ponga, but was defended by Sharks coach John Morris after his side’s 38-10 loss to the Knights.
He is the third NRL player to be sent off this season, after Addin Fonua-Blake and Kevin Proctor.
The wild hit sparked a melee and forced the Sharks to play a man down, with Sharks coach John Morris unsure if Townsend's punishment fit his crime.
"It's a shoulder charge. There was force there and his arm was tucked. Whether it was a send off, I'm not so sure," Morris said.
"Maybe he could have stayed on the field but rules are rules.
"I feel for Chaddy. I don't think he's ever even been sin-binned in his career, let alone sent off.
"He's not one to play like that but he was trying to change the momentum of the game, shot off the line and trying to make a tackle and got it wrong."
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Morris apologised to fans after what he described as a ‘nightmare’ NRL performance on Friday evening.
Chad Townsend’s send-off was just one of a number of discipline issues for the Sharks, with Graham, Rudolf and Hamlin-Uele all on report for lifting tackles.
Afterwards, Morris lashed the effort of players.
"It was a nightmare, literally," Morris said.
"We kicked off, it went out on the full and it was just awful.
"I didn't think I'd be in this position to apologise to our fans but I have to after that.
"It was so far outside the standards of what we set ourselves at the club... we just didn't turn up with the right attitude and absolutely got our pants pulled down and bums smacked in front of everyone.
"It's really disappointing for where we are in our season.
"It's round 17, we're still in the eight but after games like that we don't deserve to be.
"Blokes have got to have a real good hard look at themselves."