Sydney Roosters forward Angus Crichton has been found guilty of a grade-one dangerous contact and will subsequently not be available for game one of the State of Origin series.
Crichton was put on report during Saturday’s controversial match against the Brisbane Broncos for a late shot on Albert Kelly.
The 25-year-old pleaded not guilty after he was charged with dangerous contact for the incident, but the NRL Judiciary upheld the verdict on Tuesday evening.
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NRL counsel Peter McGrath argued that Crichton proceeded with the careless contact after he’d passed the ball, while the backrower unsuccessfully claimed his vision was impaired as he attempted the tackle.
“It’s very disappointing … it’s a tough one to take,” Crichton said after the hearing.
“It was a genuine mistake. My vision was impaired and I didn’t know Albert Kelly had the ball. It’s upsetting I’ll miss games for that.
“It really hurts. It’s tough, it’s hard when it comes in mid-year. To miss games hurts. In the end I’m the one who has to be accountable for my actions, it’s disappointing to miss games and let my teammates down.
“They know how much it burns me to miss games and how much I love playing for my team. They know how much this hurts.”
Angus Crichton after an NRL Judiciary.Source:News Corp Australia
Carry-over points accrued from three prior incidents means Crichton was given a two-week suspension, ruling him out of the highly-anticipated State of Origin opener in Melbourne.
He will also miss Sydney’s upcoming matches against the Canberra Raiders and Gold Coast Titans.
Sydney Morning Herald reporter Christian Nicolussi tweeted: “No Angus Crichton for Origin I. Bloody shame for Fred and Blues. Been in red-hot form.”
New South Wales coach Brad Fittler now has a selection dilemma on his hands, considering former Blues captain Boyd Cordner will miss the series as he recovers from repeated concussions.
“It’s going to be catastrophic for the NSW side,” rugby league great Benny Elias told Fox League’s NRL Tonight on Monday.
“We want the strongest NSW side, but we’ll have to wait and see”.
Penrith’s Liam Martin and Parramatta’s Ryan Matterson are now in contention for a State of Origin debut following Crichton’s suspension.
Earlier on Tuesday, Sydney teammate Victor Radley failed to downgrade his grade-two careless high tackle and was sidelined for five weeks.
— with Jasper Bruce, NCA NewsWire
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