Waerea-Hargreaves, Burgess face NRL bans

Scott Bailey
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NRL RABBITOHS ROOSTERS JWH ON REPORT

Roosters' Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is put on report after his high hit on Liam Knight

Sam Burgess could miss the first week of the NRL finals for a hair pull and Sydney Roosters enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is also set to pay the price for a poor disciplinary record.

Burgess was on Friday hit with a contrary conduct offence for grabbing the hair of Roosters centre Billy Smith, with the South Sydney captain facing a one-game ban even with an early guilty plea.

Waerea-Hargreaves was the other man charged from Thursday night's clash, also set to cop a one-match ban for a careless high tackle on Liam Knight.

The Roosters confirmed on Friday he would fight the charge, with no risk of missing a second week even if he loses at the judiciary.

Both Burgess and Waerea-Hargreaves would have usually been able to take monetary fines for the offences, but have passed the cap of two previous incidents this year.

Burgess' charge is his fifth in the past two seasons alone, with his 2018 rap sheet including a dangerous contact charge and careless high tackle charge.

The English firebrand was then fined for contrary conduct and a careless high tackle again earlier this year.

He will miss just the one game for the most recent offence, unless he can fight the case at the judiciary and win.

His absence would be a massive blow for the Rabbitohs, who have won four from seven without him this year and have at times lacked grunt in the middle.

There is a chance Souths could come up against the Roosters next week, if the Warriors beat Canberra on Sunday and they move to third.

Meanwhile, the potential loss of Waerea-Hargreaves' will also be of concern to the Roosters, given they too are lacking numbers in the middle.

The 30-year-old got himself into trouble when he collected Knight high with his arm, before the Souths forward rebounded into Lindsay Collins and was left bloodied.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson defended his star forward after the match.

"It was a penalty, you can't hit the head. But I don't know what else he could have done," Robinson said.

"It was Lindsay's (head which did most of the damage to Knight) and they both got split from it."

Waerea-Hargreaves has previously been banned for two weeks this year for a dangerous tackle on Newcastle's Kalyn Ponga, while he also had a dangerous contact charge in round 19.

Fellow prop Sio Siua Taukeiaho is no certainty to return from a rib cartilage complaint for the start of the finals while Jake Friend has also battled an infection from his fractured arm.

The Roosters did receive some good news on Friday, with forward Zane Tetevano not charged for an off-the-ball hit on Souths fullback Adam Doueihi.