Rugby League: Former NZ Warriors prop Jack Hetherington handed five-game suspension after coathanger tackle for Bulldogs against Cowboys

Former NZ Warriors prop Jack Hetherington has been handed a five-match suspension by the NRL's judiciary, after being sent off for a coathanger tackle in the Bulldogs' loss to North Queensland Cowboys on Sunday.

Hetherington, 24, was hit with a grade-three charge after he took out Cowboys star Valentine Holmes on Sunday night, and was immediately sent from the field by referee Ashley Klein.

In the 55th minute of Sunday's NRL encounter at Townsville, with the Bulldogs down 18-6, Hetherington hit Holmes with a coathanger straight out of the 1980s, seeing both sets of players come together in a fracas

Klein was captured by on-field microphones saying that he thought the incident warranted a sending off, with his fellow officials not trying to convince him otherwise.

Normally, a grade-three charge would only warrant a three-game suspension, but Hetherington's poor record meant a five-game suspension, even after an early guilty plea.

Hetherington played six games for the Warriors in 2020, on loan from Penrith Panthers. 

In round 13 of 2020, he was placed on report for a dangerous tackle on Manly Sea Eagles prop Martin Tapau and handed a four-week ban as a result. 

Down 18-6 at the time of Hetherington's dismissal, the Bulldogs fought back but would eventually fall to a 30-18 loss.

The defeat leaves the Bulldogs rooted to the bottom of the NRL ladder, still the only side yet to pick up a victory in 2021.

Join Newshub for live updates of the Warriors v Melbourne Storm NRL clash from 8:35pm Sunday.