Finals bans: Burgess out, Taupau hangs in balance
MARTY Taupau's season hangs in the balance, with the Manly Sea Eagles star facing a one-game ban following a sickening high tackle on Parramatta's Ray Stone.
Taupau was charged with a grade-three, careless high tackle. He would miss one game with an early guilty plea but two games if he were to fight the charge and lose.
Parramatta prop Kane Evans is facing a one-match ban even with an early guilty plea.
Taupau was sin-binned for a tackle that left Stone heavily concussed. Evans was also sin-binned.
It means there are four big-name players who could miss at least the opening week of the finals, after South Sydney's Sam Burgess and the Roosters' Jared Waerea-Hargreaves were hit with one-game bans following a fiery clash on Thursday night.
The Roosters have indicated they will fight Waerea-Hargreaves' charge.
Any suspension to Taupau significantly weakens a Manly squad battling with a high-profile injury list.
Manly will struggle to pick a fit squad for their opening final after losing 32-18 to Parramatta on Friday night.
Tom Trbojevic (pectoral), Joel Thompson (arm) Toafofoa Sipley (knee), Trent Hodkinson (knee) won't play again this year.
Morgan Boyle (shoulder) and Jack Gosiewski (knee) missed Friday's match. Gosiewski should be OK but Boyle is racing the clock. Curtis Sironen (calf), Taniela Paseka (knee) and Brad Parker (concussion) didn't finish the game.
The loss also meant the Sea Eagles gave up fifth spot on the competition ladder to the Eels.
LISTEN! Matty Johns and Paul Kent are joined by Balmain champion Steve 'Blocker' Roach, talking up the big eighth place battle at Leichhardt Oval Sunday, look at some of Manly's best ever hit men and the time Kenty got completely jammed by Mark Geyer.
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