Tariq Sims’ time at the Dragons appears to be over with the second rower looking at a minimum of four weeks on the sidelines for a high shot on Connor Tracey.
NRL referee Ashley Klein has been blasted as “gutless” for failing to send off Sims after the Dragons enforcer knocked out the Sharks winger in their 24-18 loss on Saturday.
Tracey’s game ended after just 12 minutes after running the ball out of his own half when Andrew McCullough took his legs and Sims came over the top.
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Sims’ shoulder caught Tracey flush on the jaw the Sharks winger appeared to be unconscious before he hit the ground.
Sims immediately called for Tracey to be helped by trainers and he looked visibly uncomfortable as the Cronulla star was being treated by medical staff.
The game was held up for more than five minutes as Tracey was placed onto a stretcher and driven off the field.
Sims has been charged with a grade three careless high tackle and given it is his third and subsequent offence, he is looking at four games on the sideline even with an early plea.
Should he fight the charge unsuccessfully, Sims will be banned for five matches.
Either way, it looks like Sims’ career at the Dragons is over, with the 32-year-old set to join the Melbourne Storm next season.
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speaking on Fox League During commentary of Saturday’s game, experts questioned whether Sims should have even been allowed back on the field.
“Oh, there’s a hit here that is going to get the attention of the bunker and it’s Connor Tracey. That had the concern of the Dragons players as well,” Dan Ginnane said on Fox League.
“I think he knows he’s about to be punished but also some concern for the player he struck. We’re not seeing Connor Tracey again tonight.”
Sims was binned which several commentators deemed fortunate for the 32-year-old leaving the club at the end of the season.
“That was the best case scenario for the Dragons,” Ginnane said.
ABC Grandstand commentator Andrew Moore exploded at Klein while Sims was in the bin.
“That is a gutless decision, and is not in the best interest of the game. I find that absolutely disgusting,” Moore said.
Sims showed plenty of remorse and Tracey was soon back up and walking in the sheds.
“Some good news on Connor Tracey’s welfare, he’s up and about in the sheds… but obviously will not be back tonight,” Fox League sideline reporter Lara Pitt said in the 22nd minute.
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In other match review committee news, Panthers front rower James Fisher-Harris is looking at a minimum of two weeks on the sideline for a high shot on Joseph Tapine.
Fisher-Harris was charged with a grade three careless high tackle and faces three weeks out should he fight the ruling and be found guilty at the panel.
The Panthers are set to play the Storm and Rabbitohs in the next fortnight and are already without halves Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai.
Raiders winger Nick Cotric is also set for a stint on the sideline for his careless high tackle on Dylan Edwards, facing one game out if he takes the early plea.
Like Fisher-Harris, Cotric was sent to the sin bin for his high shot and is looking at two weeks should he fight the charge and be found guilty at the panel.
Raiders team mate tapine was also charged for a grade one crusher tackle but will escape with a fine if he takes the early plea.