NRL News

Titans lock faces ban for shoulder charge


Gold Coast lock Keegan Hipgrave has become the seventh player charged by the NRL judiciary this weekend.

Hipgrave is looking at a one-game ban with an early guilty plea after being slapped with a grade one shoulder charge for his hit on young Brisbane forward Tom Flegler in the Titans' 26-18 win over the Broncos on Sunday.

The 22-year-old will miss Friday's home clash with Warriors and faces a potential two-game ban if he challenges the charge and loses.

Hipgrave joins a lengthy charge list from this weekend's action which includes South Sydney's Sam and Tom Burgess and North Queensland's Josh McGuire.

The Rabbitohs duo along with Newcastle's Daniel Safiti were all charged for a melee the Knights' 20-12 win on Friday.

The trio, along with Knights backrower Lachlan Fitzgibbon who escaped penalty, were sin-binned due to their involvement in an all-in brawl just before half-time.

Tom Burgess has received a grade one striking charge, with a base penalty of 200 points meaning he stands to miss one match with an early plea, or two games if he appeals unsuccessfully.

An appeal seems unlikely though, as scans on his injured ankle have revealed the Englishman will likely require surgery and a spell on the sidelines.

Sam Burgess, who already underwent shoulder clean-up surgery on Saturday morning and will miss five weeks of action, has been fined $1,350 for contrary conduct. If he doesn't accept with an early guilty plea, the fine could rise by $450.

Saifiti was also fined for contrary conduct, and will have to pay $1,150 with an early plea.

McGuire is set to pay the biggest fine since monetary penalties were introduced after another contrary conduct charge.

The Queensland State of Origin lock has been slugged with a maximum $4,500 fine for his facial on Manly centre Dylan Walker on Saturday night.

Even if he takes the reduced $3,400 punishment with an early guilty plea, it will be one of the heaviest fines since NRL judiciary codes were reformed in 2017.

It's the second time this season McGuire has been hit with a grade-one contrary conduct charge.

The grade-one charge normally incurs a $1,500 base penalty, however, McGuire's four previous offences meant the maximum fine is tripled.

NRL players are only allowed a maximum two fines per season, meaning a third fine-worthy charge would result in an automatic suspension due to loading.

In other judiciary news, Sea Eagles winger Jorge Taufua has been fined from tripping in the same game.

Warriors forward Tevita Satae is facing a one-game ban for grade-one dangerous contact to the neck of Melbourne star Josh Addo-Carr in their home loss on Saturday.

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