A Jack Hetherington send-off sparked a sluggish Sunday afternoon clash between the Cowboys and Bulldogs into top gear with the hosts having to withstand a late 12-man comeback to hold on.
Hetherington was sent for a 55th-minute swinging arm on Valentine Holmes with the Cowboys fullback setting up a try soon after that looked to have ended the contest at 24-6.
The match review committee on Monday charged Hetherington with a grade-three careless high tackle which equates to a five-game ban if he submits an early guilty plea, or six if he unsuccessfully contests the charge at the judiciary.
He has three offences in the past two years which have inflated the 300 base penalty points.
A fired-up Canterbury rallied after the send-off in Sunday’s game and scored the next two tries to close the gap to six points and had what could have been the level-up try disallowed for an offside player three minutes before full-time in dramatic scenes at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.
Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett said he did not think Hetherington’s hit was intentional while Cowboys counterpart Todd Payten was adamant the send-off was the correct decision in the circumstances.
“He certainly caught him high,” Barrett conceded.
“It wasn’t an intentional shot from Jack, he just hung his arm out and Val’s ok … I haven’t had a look at it yet, to be honest with you.”
Canterbury’s response after the incident was one of the positives to emerge from the game, he added.
“That’s one of the positives you could take out of it, they were gallant, but we shouldn’t have been in that position,” he said.
“We turned over too much cheap ball, failed to build any pressure at all when we were in the game at 6-all at half time.
“We played some of our best footy through that middle third of the field when we did have 12 men. There’s certainly some lessons around where those errors are coming from.”