NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 27: Wade Graham of the Sharks in action during the round 12 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Cronulla Sharks at McDonald Jones Stadium on May 27, 2018 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

Cronulla Sharks' edge forward Wade Graham has been found guilty of a reckless high tackle charge and will spend four weeks on the sideline.

Graham was originally charged with a Grade 1 reckless high tackle for a shot on South Sydney Rabbitohs forward Davvy Moale during the Round 1 game at Shark Park on Saturday evening.

Graham was penalised and placed on report at the time, with the tackle seeing him leave the ground and appear to make contact with his shoulder on the jaw of Moale.

The ugly incident was hit hard by the NRL's match review committee, but Graham and the Sharks didn't see it quite so bad, pleading not guilty to the charge, and instead pleading guilty to the lesser charge of a careless high tackle.

The original charge carried a three-week ban, however, a downgrade - being a Grade 3 careless high tackle, or a Grade 2 careless high tackle, would have seen Graham hit by a two-week or one-week suspension respectively.

Graham was ultimately unsuccessful at the judiciary though, being found guilty of the offence and having his suspension raised to four matches.

In defence, Graham argued that there was no time to think of his actions as the ball changed from one attacker to the other in the space of a single step, and that the reckless part of the charge should be taken away given he had no intent of the act.

The NRL prosecution argued that Graham had instead lined Moale up though, aiming at the ball which was close to his neck. They suggested it was reckless because Graham saw the contact coming and decided to continue his action.

Graham will miss matches against the Parramatta Eels, Canberra Raiders, St George Illawarra Dragons and New Zealand Warriors, before the Sharks have a Round 6 bye. He will return in Round 7 against the Sydney Roosters.