Veteran Dolphins' second-rower Felise Kaufusi has had his fate decided by the NRL judiciary, being found guilty of dangerous contact
The charge will see him spend four weeks on the sideline and miss this week's game against the Brisbane Broncos.
Kaufusi was slugged with a Grade 2 dangerous contact charge for a hit on Jackson Hastings during Friday's clash against the Newcastle Knights.
The game, which was won by the Dolphins, saw Kaufusi spend ten minutes in the sin bin after referee Chris Butler and bunker official Ben Cummins deemed his hit to be late, coming after Hastings had passed the ball.
The match review committee agreed, making the charge Grade 2. That would have left Kaufusi facing three matches on the sideline with an early guilty plea given it was the third offence on his rolling 12-month record.
He and the Dolphins elected to fight at the judiciary though, attempting to have the charge downgraded to a Grade 1 charge - which only carries a fine and would leave Kaufusi free to play the Brisbane Broncos this Friday night in what will be an enormous clash at a sold out Suncorp Stadium. Being found guilty however leaves him on the sideline for four weeks.
The three-man judiciary panel, led by Geoff Bellew and joined by Paul Simpkins and Bob Lindner listened to an hour of evidence before deliberating for around 25 minutes to find Kaufusi guilty.
Represented by lawyer Nick Ghabar, Kaufusi's party argued that the tackle was already committed to by the Dolphins' veteran before the ball had left Hastings' hands.
The Kaufusi camp used a Joseph Suaalii tackle from weeks earlier which wasn't cited at all by the match review committee in their evidence.
The NRL's legal counsel Patrick Knowles said Kaufusi never made an attempt to slow down or avoid the contact at a time when Hastings was vulnerable, while also suggesting the fact Hastings wasn't injured had "more to go with good luck than Kaufusi exercising care."
Kaufusi was named on Tuesday afternoon for the Dolphins in the second-row and will now likely be replaced in the starting side by either Jarrod Wallace or Mark Nicholls, with Kenneath Bromwich shifting from prop to the edge after being named there on Tuesday afternoon.
One of Poasa Faamausili, Kurt Donoghoe or JJ Collins will likely join the bench for the Dolphins against the Broncos, while Kaufusi will also miss games against the St George Illawarra Dragons, North Queensland Cowboys and South Sydney Rabbitohs.