Cowboy Tariq Sims is set to challenge his shoulder charge ban at the NRL judiciary in a bid to play again this NRL season.
North Queensland are set to take Tariq Sims’ shoulder charge ban to the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night in a bid to keep the hard-hitting forward’s season alive.
Sims was hit with a grade three shoulder charge by the NRL match review committee on Monday for a 59th minute tackle on Brisbane utility Justin Hodges in the Cowboys’ 32-20 win in Townsville on Saturday night.
The 24-year-old Sims faces a five-week ban if he takes the early guilty plea, which would end his season and his time with the Cowboys given he has signed with Newcastle for 2015 and 2016.
If he faces the judiciary and is found guilty, Sims faces a seven weeks stint on the sidelines.
But with finals conspiracy theories again flying around Townsville, the Cowboys will likely attempt to have the charge downgraded, with three weeks remaining of the NRL season.
Sydney Roosters host the Cowboys in Friday’s first semi-final at Allianz Stadium.
In their only public comment on the issue, the Cowboys wrote on their official Twitter feed on Monday: “Re Tariq: We are considering our options and have until noon tomorrow to come to a decision”.
They also retweeted a number of comments on the social media platform claiming the grading of the tackle on Hodges was “harsh”.
The season of Manly’s representative forward Anthony Watmough could also be over after he was hit with a grade one dangerous throw emanating from Friday’s 40-24 qualifying loss to South Sydney.
Watmough and teammate Jamie Lyon were both slapped with the charge following a first half tackle on Souths fullback Greg Inglis.
Lyon is free to play in Saturday’s semi-final against Canterbury, but due to loading from prior offences Watmough is set for a week’s rest.
Watmough, who remains under contract at Brookvale, has been linked to an end of season move to Parramatta and could have played his last game for the club he claimed the 2008 and 2011 premierships with.
Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is free to play the Cowboys after being cleared of a high tackle on Brent Kite in the premiers’ 19-18 loss to Penrith on Saturday evening.
Bulldogs duo Josh Morris and David Klemmer also avoided sanctions after being put on report in the 28-4 shellacking of Melbourne on Sunday.
Brisbane’s Ben Barba will be free to play the opening game of the 2015 season if he takes the early plea on a grade one dangerous contact – unnecessary leg pressure charge emanating from a tackle late in the game on Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt.
In the Under-20s competition Wests Tigers’ Tyler Cassel is likely to be rubbed out of the rest of the joint venture’s finals campaign after being charged with a grade four dangerous contact – contact with kicker charge in their qualifying win over South Sydney.
Cassel faces four matches out if he takes the early guilty plea.