BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 21: Patrick Carrigan of the Broncos looks to pass the ball during the round 15 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium on August 21, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Patrick Carrigan has been hit with a four-week ban by the NRL judiciary after being referred directly to the NRL judiciary for a hip drop tackle on Jackson Hastings.

The NRL's match review committee on Sunday morning decided that no charge available to them would fit the tackle which has ended Hastings' season.

The Tigers half turned lock has broken his leg and is looking at a minimum period of three months before he will be able to recommence full training, but should be all but unimpeded once the team return for the 2023 pre-season.

Carrigan's actual penalty was five weeks, however, pleading guilty left his eligible for a one-week discount, meaning he will now be able to return to the field for the final week of the regular season.

After almost two hours of evidence, a panel featuring Dallas Johnson and Henry Perenara, as well as Justice Geoff Bellew, decided the penalty Carrigan should face.

The NRL - led by legal counsel Patrick Knowles - argued for a five to six-week ban for Carrigan, citing the injury as "potentially impacting Hastings career."

Hastings has been forced to undergo surgery with plates and screws to repair a fractured fibula and surgery for syndesmosis," Knowles told the judiciary panel.

"That likely means a minimum of three months recovery and more likely four to five months.

"This is a very serious injury that could impact on player Hastings' career".

The hearing were shown replays of a tackle committed by Dragons' prop Josh McGuire on Josh Addo-Carr last year which came with a Grade 3 charge and five-match penalty, however, under the new NRL judiciary code, a Grade 3 charge on a first offence for Carrigan would only generate a two-match penalty.

In defending Carrigan, legal counsel Nick Ghabar told the penalty that the tackle was a "low or moderate level of carelessness" due to the involvement of teammates.

"Player Carrigan lost his footing and almost has a seated position on the ground, while the two defenders up top have a firm hold," Ghabar says.

Carrigan has hold of Hastings' waist and the other tacklers turned and pushed the Tigers lock over the top of Carrigan with a "significant driving force".

The defence argued that there was no comparison to the tackle with McGuire, suggesting the Dragons' prop's tackle bordered on intentional, and asked for a penalty of no greater than two matches.

The prosecution also argued that Carrigan never needed to join the tackle given two defenders already had Hastings' momentum stopped.