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4 days ago
Cronulla's leap into good form could hit a snag at the National Rugby League judiciary this week with key forwards Phil Bailey and Karl Lovell both potentially facing lengthy suspensions.
Bailey was today charged with two grade one dangerous throws from Sunday's 25-24 win over Parramatta and, with three previous offences and carry-over points to his name, he will be outed for six matches if he pleads guilty to both.
Bailey, whose spear tackles on Parramatta captain Nathan Cayless and winger Pat Richards came in the space of two minutes at Parramatta Stadium, will be rubbed out for eight games if he unsuccessfully challenges the charges at league headquarters on Wednesday night.
Depending on how he pleas, the 22-year-old could be outed for anywhere between three and eight games.
Lovell, charged with a grade two reckless high tackle on Eels forward David Solomona, also has a blemished judiciary record and will be stamped out for nine games if found guilty.
The 24-year-old New Zealander can accept a seven-match ban with an early guilty admission.
With a bye in hand, the in-form Sharks, riding a five-match winning streak, only have another seven games before the finals, leaving Bailey and Lovell facing the prospect of not playing again this season.
The worst-case scenario is Bailey and Lovell not being back until week two and three of the finals series respectively, if the seventh-placed Sharks survive that long.
Bulldogs prop Paul Rauhihi and Northern Eagles front rower Grant Wooden were also charged by judiciary commissioner Jim Hall.
Rauhihi (grade three high tackle on St George Illawarra lock Jason Hooper) will be suspended for one match if found guilty, while Wooden (grade two careless high tackle on North Queensland prop Tim Maddison) faces three games in the stands if found guilty.