Brisbane Broncos star Patrick Carrigan has been handed a four-match suspension for his hip-drop tackle that left Jackson Hastings with a broken leg.
The judiciary’s decision came after the NRL legal counsel Patrick Knowles had called for a five or six-match ban, while Carrigan’s legal counsel, Nick Ghabar, called for a two-match ban.
The decision will see this year’s Wally Lewis Medal winner sidelined until the final week of the home and away season.
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The NRL referred to Hastings’ season-ending fractured fibula and syndesmosis injuries as the reason behind its recommendation for a lengthy ban.
“That likely means a minimum of three months recovery and more likely four to five months,” Knowles said.
“This is a very serious injury that could impact on player Hastings’ career.”
The hearing was also shown an example of a similar tackle from Dragons forward Josh McGuire on then-Storm star Josh Addo-Carr from last season, which resulted in McGuire being handed a five-match ban after he pleased guilty to a grade three dangerous contact charge.
However, Carrigan’s legal counsel argued that there was no comparison between the two incidents.
“What player McGuire did himself in that tackle compared to what player Carrigan did in the case before you is a higher level. They are not even in the same ball park,” Ghabar said.
“It is careless, but not reckless.”
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