Cronulla Sharks forward Dale Finucane is facing a three week suspension after being hit with a Dangerous Contact charge stemming from an incident involving Penrith centre Stephen Crichton last night.
Crichton left the field late in Penrith’s 20-10 win over the Sharks with a serious injury to his ear after the incident.
Incredibly, no penalty was ruled on field.
The fact Finucane has been hit with a Grade 3 charge will likely result in intense conversation about the obvious divide between on field officials, The Bunker and the Match Review Committee.
The crowd at BlueBet Stadium was left stunned when referee Ashley Klein took no action over the contact, which resulted in Crichton needing hospital treatment. He was also concussed.
Penrith coach Ivan Cleary was obviously upset over the lack of action when addressing the media post-game.
“I just think how easy it is to give a high-tackle penalty away now, contact with the head. It just looked bad,” he said.
“Critta is not in a great way. There is certainly an argument for careless. But that is currently the game and interpretations.
“It knocks him out. That was like a car crash. It’s weird that that is okay, but the mildest of taps sometimes isn’t okay.”
Crichton was last night meeting with a plastic surgeon to review the ear injury.
Finucane can escape with a two match suspension if submits an early guilty plea but faces a three week ban should he fight the charge and lose.
Worrying post-match IV with Stephen Crichton, after his head clash:
“Only just probably getting my senses back now, can’t really remember what happened as well, so yeah, starting to get my memory back now.”
“Do you remember the game at all?”
— ABC SPORT (@abcsport) July 23, 2022
Meantime, Panthers forward Viliame Kikau was hit with a Grade 1 Shoulder Charge citing for an incident in the 74th minute of last night’s game.
He faces a monetary penalty only and won’t face time on the sideline.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.