Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has been found guilty of dangerous contact for the forearm to Chris McQueen’s neck in the minor premiership showdown versus the Rabbitohs on Friday, and will miss the first game of the Roosters’ premiership campaign.
The Roosters went into the hearing with nothing to lose, as he would have been suspended one game had he taken the early guilty plea. The Roosters used the same lawyer who successfully fought Boyd Cordner’s striking charge earlier in the year and Anthony Minichiello’s high tackle versus the raiders last year — but it looks like third time unlucky for the Chooks.
The club was unable to use footage of Ben Pomeroy’s tackle against the Knights in Round 22 as a precedent because the Cronulla Sharks centre was not charged despite being reported thereby eliminating it as a precedent — and despite that tackle being eerily similar to JWH’s.
It’s expected that Luke O’Donnell or Marty Kennedy will start for the Roosters with the Kiwi international out — but that’s just the beginning of the headache Coach Trent Robinson now faces.
In the five games JWH missed earlier in the year for a high-shot on Manly’s George Rose, the Roosters lost twice and conceded 99 points — well above their season average of 13.5 points conceded a game.
The suspension will again spark calls of an inconsistent judiciary system after Pomeroy was not even charged for his hit. From a Roosters perspective alone, Luke O’Donnell was suspended for three matches for a dangerous tackle when he flipped Tim Simona like a script in round 23, despite Cooper Cronk not being charged earlier in the year for a driving spear on the Roosters’ Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (the comparative gifs of those two tackles can be found here).