The Sydney Roosters are reportedly "filthy" with their veteran enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, after a pair of incidents in the win over the Wests Tigers that look set to rule him out for the rest of 2023. Waerea-Hargreaves was sin-binned for hitting Api Koroisau late and high, and then found himself in more hot water after an apparent headbutt on Stefano Utoikamanu.
The Roosters enforcer is now facing a potential seven-game ban that would rule him out of the entire NRL finals series, as well as the Roosters' round one clash against Brisbane in Las Vegas in 2024. Waerea-Hargreaves was hit with two charges as a result of the Tigers match and will definitely miss three games after taking the early guilty plea for his grade on striking charge.
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However, the Roosters are set to contest the severity of Waerea-Hargreaves's grade two dangerous contract charge, meaning if he fights and loses at the judiciary, the prop will be banned for four more weeks. That would go on top of the three weeks the veteran forward is already ruled out for, meaning he would be sidelined for a chunk of the new season.
If the Roosters are successful in having Waerea-Hargreaves' dangerous contract charge downgraded he would escape with a fine for one of his two indiscretions. Wests Tigers coach Benji Marshall slammed his former international teammate after the game and said Waerea-Hargreaves “got what he deserved” after being sin-binned for the shot on Koroisau.
The Roosters prop has a questionable disciplinary record over the years but his latest acts of ill-discipline have left the Roosters privately seething with Waerea-Hargreaves, according to veteran league reporter Phil Rothfield. The 34-year-old New Zealaand international will now be missing from the Roosters' do-or-die clash with fierce rivals South Sydney on Friday night, that will likely determine who plays finals footy or not.
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves under fire
“Gosh it’s disappointing,” Rothfield said on the Big Sports Breakfast on Monday. “I put him in the top 10 front rowers I’ve ever seen in the NRL and that’s back over 40 years... but that game was in the bag.
"They’re playing the Wests Tigers, he’s 34 years of age. He’s played nearly 300 games and it was just totally unnecessary. He now looks like he won’t play any part in the finals if the Roosters make it and it’ll cost him a trip to Las Vegas next year.
“I’m told the club are quite filthy on him. Look, he has been such an enforcer there. He’s like the bodyguard for their young halves... and he’s played such an important role for such a long period of time but I’ve suggested this morning he’s become a liability for the club.
JWH has to walk for this late shot on Api Koroisau.
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“This happened at the backend of last season as well and for a guy who has been around as long as he has he’s got to learn to control his emotions.” The respected league reporter said ill-discipline was an issue that's impacted the Roosters in the past, with Victor Radley another player who's copped his fair share of suspensions.
“There’s been a discipline problem at the Roosters for some time. Victor Radley, another player who has spent so much time on the sideline,” Rothfield added. “At the end of the year, I’m not sure if the Roosters are going to make the finals or not but when we do the wash-up on the Roosters’ season we’ll look back on ill-discipline and moments like this Wests Tigers game that they had in the bag.”
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