In a major setback for the Sharks, experienced lock Dale Finucane is facing a potential three-week absence after being charged with a dangerous throw during their dominant 52-16 victory over the Dragons. Finucane was put on report just 19 minutes into the match for a lifting tackle on Blake Lawrie, which resulted in a try for Tautau Moga in the next set. Interim Dragons coach Ryan Carr showed no objection to Finucane staying on the field but now the player is looking at a 2-3 week suspension, marking his third charge this season.
This incident follows Finucane’s three-game ban for a hip-drop tackle against the Warriors in round 5. If he opts for the early guilty plea, he will miss the next two matches due to the grade 1 offense. When asked about the situation, Finucane expressed uncertainty, stating, “I didn’t really see it on the big screen, but hopefully not. I’ll have to look at the footage of it, but it’s hard to comment on it because I haven’t really seen the footage.”
Losing Finucane would add to the Sharks‘ recent frustrations as they have already had to cope with injuries to key players Toby Rudolf, Royce Hunt, and Braden Hamlin-Uele. Rudolf is set to return through the NSW Cup this weekend after being out since round 5, while Hunt is expected to be sidelined for another month due to an ankle injury. Hamlin-Uele failed to complete Thursday night’s game due to a rib injury sustained from Lawrie’s hard tackle at the kick-off. Although he was able to continue playing, he did not return in the second half as Finucane and fan favorite Tom Hazelton dominated the middle.
Commenting on Hamlin-Uele’s injury, coach Fitzgibbon remarked, “It was off the kick-off and it looked like a shoulder charge to me. We’re not sure if it’s rib cartilage, broken ribs or something like that, but he finished that stint which is kind of weird because he finished OK but he knew he had something. It wasn’t that bad but it got worse at halftime, so we couldn’t get him back after halftime. We’ve had some changes in the lineup, but I think the guys that have come in have performed strongly. Everyone’s sharing the workload. Tommy was strong again and I think Dale has had his best two games for the club over the last two weeks.”