NSW’s back-row shortage has taken another massive hit with Angus Crichton set to miss the State of Origin series opener after paying the price for his bad judiciary record.
- Angus Crichton’s poor record means that he is looking at a two-game ban
- Victor Radley will likely miss a minimum of four weeks after he was charged twice
- As of Saturday night’s games, 21 players were charged by the NRL
Crichton has been picked up for a late shot on Albert Kelly in the Sydney Roosters’ shock loss to Brisbane on Saturday night, which was not penalised during the game.
Ordinarily, Crichton would be able to escape with a monetary fine for dangerous contact incident but given it is his third offence this year, that option is unavailable.
It means the Blues incumbent must beat the grade-one charge at the judiciary or will otherwise miss two games due to his poor record.
It will prompt debate over whether Origin games should require extra points to miss, given Crichton’s offence is usually considered a relatively minor one.
Regardless, the Crichton charge capped off a horror rap sheet for the Roosters.
Victor Radley’s Origin hopes are virtually over after his two charges netted him a minimum of four games on the sidelines.
Radley was placed on report four times in Saturday’s loss, but was only charged for the two offences he was sent to the sin bin for.
Early guilty pleas to both would mean four matches out, while fighting both at the judiciary would result in potentially a five- or six-match suspension.
Even with an early plea, Radley would not play again before Origin II.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson admitted on Saturday night Radley had to change his tackling style amid the NRL’s crackdown on high shots.
“[To change his style] within a couple of weeks, it’s tough,” the Roosters coach said of the Roosters lock.
“But as far as I know, they’re not changing so he’s going to have to get it in check.
The Blues are already without Boyd Cordner for the entire Origin series, while Cameron Murray is only beginning to run on his injured ankle again.
Bans for Crichton and Radley will likely push the Blues’ hopes of Isaah Yeo, Liam Martin, Ryan Matterson and Shaun Lane, with Tyson Frizell all but guaranteed to start on one edge.
Elsewhere, Broncos Tyson Gamble and Matt Lodge are both facing one-game bans for crusher and high tackles, respectively.
Gamble’s suspension will double to two matches if he fights this charge and loses at the judiciary.
Canterbury players Chris Smith and Sione Kato are also facing bans of one game for crusher tackles, with both set to miss a second week if they unsuccessfully fight it.
Eight other NRL players were fined from Saturday’s matches.
It takes the tally of charges by the match review committee for this round to 21, well on track to set the NRL-era record for the third week in a row.