Knights' Hilder faces three-match ban

Newcastle utility Matt Hilder faces up to three weeks on the sidelines after being charged with contrary conduct for dangerous contact to Melbourne halfback Cooper Cronk during Monday night's 18-4 loss to the Storm.

With first-choice Newcastle hooker Danny Buderus named in the NSW State of Origin side, it places the Knights in a potentially difficult situation as Hilder is the back-up rake.

An early guilty plea would see Hilder receive a two-week suspension, if he fights the charge and loses he'll have a three-week stint on the sidelines.

Fellow Knights Jarrod Mullen and Corey Paterson were charged with grade one dangerous throws by the NRL Judiciary but escape suspension with early guilty pleas.

Manly's Mark Bryant (dangerous tackle) and the Bulldogs' Jarrad Hickey (careless high tackle) also escape suspension with early guilty pleas from their weekend games.

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