Tongan rugby international Daniel Tupou could be out of the NRL for a fortnight after a neck high tackle on Anzac Day.
The Sydney Rooster’s winger, who is of Tongan descent, tackled St George’s Illawarra winger Mikaele Ravalawa in the 54th minute of the game at the Sydney Cricket Grounds.
Ravalawa was not injured in the incident, but Tupou’s arm hit him in the side of the head after grazing the top of the ball.
Tupou has been suspended for a week by the NRL and has the option to appeal the penalty to the NRL judiciary. However, if he loses, he will face an additional week on the benches.
Tupou, who has represented both Tonga and Australia internationally, was part of the Rooster’s side that defeated St George’s 40-22 in last year’s NRL season.
The Roosters lost 12-14 in last weekend’s clash.
Senior rugby league figures said they were surprised Tupou was not immediately sin-binned after the incident.
Tupou was allowed to stay on the field for his tackle in the 54th minute despite the NRL’s mandating the sin bin for direct contact to the head.
Dragons coach Anthony Griffin told the media that Tupou “would have been jailed for two years during Magic Round last year” for the incident and the NRL’s chief executive, Andrew Abdo, said he was “surprised” Tupou wasn’t sent to the sin-bin.
“From where I was sitting to me it was a sin bin – direct contact to the head,” Abdo said.
“I was very surprised it wasn’t a sin bin, I think it should have been.”
On local Sydney media Triple M’s Mark Geyer said fans expected more consistency in the application of rules.