Kangaroos back-rower Angus Crichton has successfully appealed to have his two-match ban downgraded after incidentally striking Chanel Harris-Tavita during the World Cup final.

Crichton was initially handed a two-match ban after the incident, which saw him elbow the Samoan utility in the opening stages of the second half. Harris-Tavita was forced to leave the field – a disappointing end to his final career game.

Australian coach Mal Meninga, who represented Crichton at the hearing, argued for a downgrade, with the duo ultimately successful in getting the ban reduced to just one match of the 2023 NRL season.

Unfortunately for Crichton, this means he'll now miss the historic Round 1 clash against the Dolphins – the newest NRL team's first-ever game in the league.

Despite the bad news it will still be seen as a good result for Crichton. Samoan coach Matt Parish argued after the final that he should have been sent off instead of sin-binned.

“The tribunal came to the conclusion that the actions of the player were not reckless, but they were careless,” a statement from the World Cup judiciary read.

“Accordingly, the offence was re-graded and the tribunal reached the conclusion that the most appropriate punishment is a one-match suspension rather than a two-match suspension as submitted by the review panel.”

Crichton's first game of the 2023 season will now be the Round 2 clash against the New Zealand Warriors on March 11.