AAP Rugby

Brisbane’s Pangai cops five-week NRL ban

By AAP Newswire

Brisbane's finals hopes have received a heavy blow after Tevita Pangai had rolled the dice at the NRL judiciary and lost, copping a five-week ban for a crusher tackle.

The Broncos' enforcer has failed in his bid to have a grade-two dangerous contact charge downgraded for his tackle on Penrith's James Maloney in round 22.

Pangai will only play again this year if Brisbane make the preliminary final.

The Broncos are sitting seventh on the ladder with three regular-season rounds left.

Pangai insisted on Tuesday night that his hit on Maloney, which earned a late sin-bin stint in their last round 24-12 win over the Panthers, was an accident.

However, he accepted the lengthy suspension amid the NRL's crackdown on crusher tackles.

"Obviously, the position I play, we have to be physical and I watch a lot of players that were physical - Gorden Tallis, Sam Burgess - but the way the game's heading, I think it's very important to know that this is an accident and I didn't mean it," he said.

"I apologised straight away to Jimmy Maloney but, where the game's heading, I think it was the right call by the judiciary."

Brisbane were already reeling from the loss of halfback Jake Turpin, who earlier accepted a two-game ban for his dangerous-contact charge after a swinging arm on Panthers No.1 Dylan Edwards.

The Broncos must find a way to fill the void left by damaging forward Pangai, who would have been sidelined for four weeks with an early plea.

Pangai's grade-two charge was blown out to a five-game suspension due to carryover points from three different offences in the past two years.

In another setback for Pangai, if Brisbane stay in the top eight but are knocked out of the finals before his ban is served, the Tongan international might need to sit out their World Nines campaign in October and possibly an end-of-season Test.