Penrith Panthers will be without star half Nathan Cleary for at least five weeks, with the NRL coming down hard on his tip-tackle on Parramatta’s Dylan Brown.
The NSW star was charged with a grade three dangerous throw, his second charge for the season, following his fine for dangerous contact in round six.
An early guilty plea will see Cleary sidelined for five weeks, but should he challenge the charge at the judiciary and is unsuccessful, that will rise to six weeks.
If he accepts the charge, he will be unavailable for the ladder-leading Panthers until the first week of finals, missing matches against the Raiders, Storm, Rabbitohs, Warriors and Cowboys.
Cleary was sent off for the first time in his career after Brown was slammed head-first into the turf in the tackle.
The Panthers suffered a 34-10 loss in Friday night’s blockbuster at Western Sydney Stadium, playing with 12 men for more than an hour after Cleary was sent from the field in the 18th minute.
Cleary posted to his Instagram story after the match to apologise for the incident.
“Filthy at myself for such a dumb moment that let the boys [and] the fans down,” he wrote.
“I’m not about that, it was terrible technique [and] I need to be better.”
It was the first time a Penrith player has been given his marching orders in 10 years.
Source: ABC news