Sydney Roosters hard man Jared Waerea-Hargreaves claimed the questionable running style of Cronulla's forwards was to blame for the tackle which earned him a one-game suspension at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night.
On an eventful night at Rugby League Central on which Wests Tiger back-rower Adam Blair was also banned for one match for a leg pull Tigers chief executive Stephen Humphreys claimed set an "interesting precedent", Waerea-Hargreaves was found guilty of a careless high tackle on Sharks prop Ben Ross.
He will miss Monday night's local derby against South Sydney as well as being saddled with 96 carry-over points.
Waerea-Hargreaves claimed the Roosters had made a strategic decision based on hours of video research to tackle in an upright position because of a tendency for the Sharks big men to raise their forearm and knee when meeting the tackler.
"I felt like in the circumstance going low wasn't the position for me as I knew he'd come with an uplifted knee or forearm," said Waerea Hargreaves, who was dragged from the Roosters Hall of Fame Ball at the neighbouring SCG to attend the hearing.
Roosters assistant coach Matthew Elliott - who engaged in a re-enactment of the tackle before the judiciary panel - said the Sharks runners left defenders with little choice but to go high.
"Bags not going into the mid-section there because you're going to get a bagful of elbows and knees," Elliott said.
"They're pretty good at getting the bumpers down."
Asked by ARLC prosecutor Peter Kite whether he accepted Waerea-Hargreaves hit Ross in the head, Elliott said:
"I accept that he put his face in his chest."
Blair too will miss one game after he was found guilty of a dangerous contact charge for making unnecessary contract with Josh Morris' leg in last Friday night's loss to Canterbury.
The Kiwi international grabbed Morris' leg and twisted it to the side in a movement Kite claimed was unnatural and forceful.
Blair denied there was nay force to his grab and that he was going with the movement of the leg in a bid to slow down the play the ball.
Humphreys feared the innocuous nature of the incident could open a can of worms for the ARL Commission.
"We felt it was the right decision to come down tonight to challenge the charge, we're really disappointed with the result," Humphreys said.
"I think it sets an interesting precedent now, we've set the bar very low for this kind of charge.
"I'm concerned what that means for the rest of the players in the game."
Blair will miss Saturday night's match against Penrith at Campbelltown, a game the Tigers must win to stay in touch with the NRL top eight.
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