Kangaroos star Angus Crichton has won his appeal and seen his ban cut in half ahead of the NRL season after his raised arm during the Rugby League World Cup final. Crichton looked set to miss the opening two games of the next NRL season after the Roosters star clobbered hooker Chanel Harris-Tavita in Australia's World Cup final triumph over Samoa.
Referee Ashley Klein sin binned Crichton after he knocked Harris-Tavita out cold with a raised forearm in the second half of the match. The Kangaroos went on to win their third straight World Cup title after a comfortable 30-10 victory.
The Sydney Roosters second-rower apologised to Harris-Tavita after the game, which was the former Warrior's last before taking a year out from rugby league to pursue other interests. Crichton was charged with Grade B Reckless Striking and faced a two-match ban, to be served at the beginning of the 2023 NRL season
But after successfully appealing his case at the judiciary, the 26-year-old accepted a downgraded Grade A charge.
He will miss only the Roosters' first game of the year which is against newcomers the Dolphins at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday March 5.
Samoa coach blasts Angus Crichton over incident
The Crichton incident left Samoa coach Matt Parish fuming in his post-match press conference, with the coach adamant the Aussie forward should have been sent off for the remainder of the game. "Five minutes into the second half our hooker gets elbowed in the head and gets carted off, then the referee makes a weak decision and puts him in the bin, dumbfounded," Parish said after the game.
"An elbow to the head and the hooker gets knocked out and taken out of the game." Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga brushed aside the criticism from his rival coach and even insisted that Crichton's sin-binning was excessive.
"My view is that he should have stayed on the field, that's just silly," the Kangaroos coach said in his post-match press conference. Crichton admitted that he spoke with Harris-Tavita after the final to apologise, and revealed that he would be travelling with his Samoa rival in coming days.
"He's a great player and I am actually meant to be travelling with him after this so there's no bad blood between me and Chanel ... I am genuinely sorry for that, it was not my intention at all," Crichton said. "I didn't know he was coming and there was no malice at all, sending out my blessings to his family. It was just a genuine reaction, I never go out on the field to try and hurt someone."
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