Canberra Raiders forward Hudson Young has been handed an eight-game ban after being found guilty of eye-gouging.
Young attended an NRL judiciary hearing on Tuesday following an incident during his team’s game against New Zealand Warriors on Saturday.
The 21-year-old was charged with a grade-three offence of making dangerous contact to the eyes of Warriors winger Adam Pompey.
Pompey appeared via video link from Auckland to provide evidence in the case, stating he “didn’t feel anything at all” as he grounded the ball for a try in the first half.
However, Young – who had already served a five-match suspension earlier in the 2019 season for gouging Canterbury Bulldogs forward Aiden Tolman – was found guilty.
The sentence handed down means he will miss the Raiders’ entire finals campaign this year, as well as the start of the 2020 campaign.
“I just want to thank the panel for a fair hearing. Although I’m disappointed with their decision, I’ll accept my punishment and learn from it,” Young said in a statement.
“I’d like to thank Adam and [lawyer] Nick [Ghabar] for speaking on my behalf. It’s much appreciated.
“I’ll now focus on returning to training this week and doing everything I can for the team.”
Canberra face minor premiers Melbourne Storm in their qualifying final on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is free to play for Sydney Roosters against South Sydney Rabbitohs on Friday after overturning a one-match ban for a high tackle.
The prop was punished for a challenge on fellow front-rower Liam Knight during the meeting between the same two teams last Thursday, a game the Rabbitohs won 16-10.