Kalyn Ponga set to be ruled out for the season after latest concussion

Meanwhile Finucane is facing a three-week suspension for a tackle that sent Crichton to hospital with a nasty split in his ear.

Finucane’s 72nd-minute hit on Crichton did not draw a penalty from referee Ashley Klein despite a long review of the incident by the NRL bunker at the time in Cronulla’s physical 20-10 loss on Saturday night.

The NRL’s match review committee has deemed otherwise, issuing Finucane with a grade 3 dangerous contact charge on Sunday morning.

Finucane can accept a two-week ban for the contact and miss the Sharks next two games against the Rabbitohs and the Dragons, or contest the suspension with the risk of a three-week ban if unsuccessful.

Penrith have already ruled Crichton out of Friday night’s western Sydney derby against Parramatta as a result of his heavy concussion.

The NSW Blues centre was taken to hospital after fulltime in the hope of having his badly cut ear operated on.

Panthers medical staff conducted running repairs on the injury that saw Crichton’s ear effectively glued back together, with the 21-year-old telling the ABC on Saturday night that he had no memory of Finucane’s shot.

“I’m only getting my senses back now,” Crichton said.

“I can’t remember what happened. It’s good to get my memory back now. The cut happened from the head clash.”

Finucane was seen consoling Crichton after the game and is regarded as one of the NRL’s genuine good guys.

Klein ruled that his contact on Crichton was a head clash as Penrith players protested otherwise, with Panthers coach Ivan Cleary miffed by the ruling afterwards.

“It’s weird that [Finucane’s tackled was] OK and the mildest of taps are not OK,” Cleary said.

“His ear is awful. He’s seen better days. He’s in good spirits for what he can remember.

“I’m sure the last thing Dale Finucane wanted to do was injure ‘Critta’. Historically, [a] head clash has been a head clash but I think for how easy it is to give a high-tackle penalty away now … it looked bad, didn’t it. And ‘Critta’, he’s not in a great way.


“I don’t know. There’s certainly an argument there for a careless [high tackle].

“I thought we would at least get a penalty. I’m not exactly sure of the interpretations, but it’s clearly contact to the head and it knocks him out. I don’t know if you’ve seen his ear, but it’s like a car crash. It’s weird that that’s OK, but the mildest of taps are not OK.”

Penrith’s Viliame Kikau has also been charged for a shoulder charge on Connor Tracey late in the game that had Cronulla captain Wade Graham fuming, but is only facing a $1500 fine with an early guilty plea.

Melbourne’s Nelson Asofa-Solomona is also facing two separate $3000 fines for two separate grade 1 charges – a careless high tackle and dangerous contact – on South Sydney’s Cameron Murray in the first 14 minutes of the Rabbitohs’ 24-12 win.

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