Penrith have copped another blow ahead of their clash with the Sydney Roosters on Saturday with Stephen Crichton set for a one-match ban.
The star centre was pinged on a grade-one contrary conduct charge for kicking Cameron Munster in the dying minutes of Sunday's 37-10 loss to Melbourne.
Crichton lashed out with his boot to shake Munster off a tackle as he played the ball and given prior offences is no longer eligible for a monetary fine.
Whether he fights the charge on Tuesday night and loses or enters an early guilty plea, he will still face a one-week ban.
Losing the 20-year-old will come as a big loss for the Panthers as they fight to hold onto second spot in the NRL ladder against the Roosters.
It follows South Sydney's 50-14 victory over St George Illawarra on Sunday night that elevated Wayne Bennett's men to equal points on the NRL ladder with five rounds to play before finals.
Panthers trio Jarome Luai (careless high tackle), J'maine Hopgood (careless high tackle) and Kurt Capewell (dangerous contact), and Souths forward Jaydn Su'a (dangerous contact) all escaped with fines and are free to play.
Meanwhile, the ninth-placed Dragons are facing a mighty fight to make the eight with four rival clubs on 18 points.
Tyrell Fuimaono is facing a one-week suspension for a hip drop tackle on Dane Gagai in the 40th minute of Sunday's loss to Souths, which would take his total weeks banned this season to seven.
The Dragons second-rower has already served five weeks for a high shot that knocked out Storm star Ryan Papenhuyzen in round 10 as well as an NRL ban for breaking COVID-19 protocols.
The Dragons were hoping to be near full-strength as they fight for their season against Canberra on Friday night.
Meanwhile, Storm star Felise Kaufusi is facing another week on the sidelines for a grade-one careless high tackle on Penrith's Matt Burton.
The Queensland second-rower has had two prior non-similar offences in the last two seasons which added to his loading, but he risks no further game time if he challenges the charge at the NRL judiciary on Tuesday night.
This season he has already missed two weeks for an ugly hit on Ryan Matterson in round two that forced the Parramatta forward into a long recovery before returning to play.
Australian Associated Press