North Queensland's chances of halting Penrith's winning run have got even slimmer with Josh McGuire and John Asiata both facing suspension.
The Cowboys' forward pair have been charged by the NRL judiciary for separate offences in Sunday's heavy loss to Melbourne.
McGuire is facing a one-game sanction after being charged with a grade-one contrary conduct offence towards referee Grant Atkins early in the 36-20 loss.
The Queensland State of Origin representative was sent to the sin bin for dissent after turning towards Atkins and mouthing off in the seventh minute following a play-the-ball.
It can be revealed McGuire directed a foul-mouth spray in the direction of the ref, which left him no choice but to give him 10 minutes.
The referee mic picked up McGuire yelling: “F**k me, c***t,” allegedly towards the ref after he was tackled.
Atkins replied: “You can go to the bin for that.”
“I’m not copping that dissent, I’m not going to repeat what you said but you can go.”
McGuire's poor behaviour record means he'd face a two-game ban if he contests the charge and loses, with carryover points to be added, while he'll be banned for Friday's clash with the Panthers with an early guilty plea.
The NRL is cracking down on dissent, after Manly’s Addin Fonua-Blake was suspended for two games for contrary conduct after calling referee Atkins a "f***ing retard."
Asiata also looking at suspension
Asiata is also set for a spell on the sidelines, charged with a grade-two dangerous contact offence on young Storm forward Tino Faasuamaleaui in the 29th minute of the match.
The 27-year-old will miss one game with an early plea or two matches if he contests the charge and loses.
The pair's absence would be a setback for interim Cowboys coach Josh Hannay with ladder-leaders Penrith heading to Townsville after wrapping up a top-two finish with a 20-2 win over Parramatta last week, their 13th victory in a row.
Warriors' prop Jamayne Taunoa-Brown is also facing a ban after being slapped with a grade-two dangerous contact charge from Sunday's loss to Cronulla.
Taunoa-Brown faces two games out if found guilty but would miss just one match if he takes the early plea.