GOSFORD, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 02: Angus Crichton of the Sydney Roosters looks on during the NRL Trial match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Sydney Roosters at Central Coast Stadium on March 02, 2019 in Gosford, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

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.