AAP Rugby

Waerea-Hargreaves banned from NRL prelim

By AAP Newswire

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves won't play again this year unless the Sydney Roosters make the grand final after he was found guilty of a trip at the NRL judiciary.

Facing his fourth conviction of 2019, the prop claimed he'd simply overbalanced when he made contact with South Sydney's James Roberts on Friday night.

In a 50-minute hearing, he insisted he had not been reckless in his action, as he pleaded his case to play in the Roosters' preliminary final on Saturday week.

But it took the three-man panel of Mal Cochrane, Sean Garlick and Bob Lindner just seven minutes to disagree, rubbing the Roosters prop out for one week.

"I thought we had a really good case tonight," Waerea-Hargreaves said outside.

"I"m really disappointed. But we have a lot of faith and depth in our squad.

"I am looking forward to preparing and getting our boys as well prepared as possible."

It will leave the Roosters without their most dangerous prop when they face the winner of Melbourne and Parramatta next Saturday, after he topped the yardage count against Souths.

They have won just four from nine matches without him in the past two years.

Waerea-Hargreaves is largely paying a penalty for his past sins, with his three prior convictions this year making him ineligible for the fine the offence usually carries.

And the 30-year-old looked every bit accustomed to the judiciary settings on Tuesday night.

He began talking without being asked his first question by his lawyer James McLeod, and even instructed the operator to pause and play the video as he gave his answers.

He claimed he fell for a dummy from Roberts late in the Roosters' 30-6 win, and then fell for a dummy after his right hand was fended away.

"All my weight, 114kg, shifts to my left side," he told the panel.

"At that point I do attempt to grab him with my right hand.

"I then became off balance. It was a clumsy mistake. There was no intent to trip him. My mind was not thinking to trip him at all."

NRL counsel Peter McGrath agreed there was no intent, but argued Waerea-Hargreaves had been reckless in his actions.

"It is my suggestion it was was reckless," McGrath said.

"It was that your foot came out and came into contact with his legs that forced you to overbalance.

"In his mind it would have been likely he would make contact with Roberts, but he went ahead and did that."

The finding leaves Waerea-Hargreaves with a 2-2 record at the panel this year, after he also pleaded guilty to offences.

WAEREA-HARGREAVES' 2019 RAP SHEET

* Round 9, grade-one dangerous contact (crusher) - early guilty plea (zero games)

* Round 11, grade-one dangerous contact (late) - guilty at panel (two games)

* Round 17, grade-one dangerous contact (elbow) - exonerated

* Round 19, grade-one dangerous contact (late) - early guilty plea (one game)

* Round 25, grade-one careless high tackle - exonerated

* Finals week one, grade-one tripping - guilty at panel (one game).