North Queensland star Jason Taumalolo may be suspended out of this weekend's crucial NRL mid-table clash with NZ Warriors at Townsville.
The Tongan powerhouse has fallen victim to the competition's crackdown on high tackles, after hitting Newcastle counterpart Tyson Frizell around the head last weekend. Taumalolo was sin-binned for 10 minutes, but returned to spark the Cowboys to a 36-20 over the Knights.
He faces a two-week suspension, if he unsuccessfully contests the grade-two careless high tackle, but can have that penalty halved with an early guilty plea.
Former Warriors forward Lachlan Burr is also doubtful to face his old outfit, after a horror run of tackling miscues. He was yellow-carded for the second straight week against Newcastle and also faces a two-week stand down, unless he takes the early plea.
The Warriors seem to have avoided the judiciary this week, despite having forwards Ben Murdoch-Masila and Eliesa Katoa sin-binned against Wests Tigers. Murdoch-Masila was dispatched for a professional foul, slowing a tackle down, as the Tigers threatened to score.
Katoa was reprimanded for lifting a tackle past the horizontal.
The Warriors barely hung on to beat North Queensland 24-20 three weeks ago and the rivalry has taken on added edge, with former Warriors coach Todd Payten now at the Cowboys helm.
Both sit just outside a top-eight playoff spot with five wins from 11 games, although the Warriors enjoying a points-difference edge.
The contest takes an added twist this week, with news that Warriors centre Peta Hiku - currently sidelined for the season with a shoulder injury - will leave the club to join Payten in Townsville next year.
Join us at 8pm Friday for live updates of the Warriors v Cowboys NRL clash