Jahrome Hughes during the round two NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and Canterbury Bulldogs at AAMI Park on March 11, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Grimes/Zero Digital Sports)

Melbourne Storm star half Jahrome Hughes has failed in his quest to have a dangerous contact charge downgraded at the judiciary.

The halfback was hit with a Grade 2 dangerous contact charge after Saturday's high-scoring loss to the Gold Coast Titans, which left him looking at a single match on the sideline.

Instead of accepting the early guilty plea though for the contact on Titans' half Tanah Boyd, who he hit late on a kick, Hughes elected to head to the judiciary in the attempt of having the charge downgraded on Tuesday evening.

Had he been successful, he would have had the charge downgraded to a fine.

After listening to evidence for around and hour and then deliberating though, a three-man panel led by Geoff Bellew and also featuring Paul Simpkins and Bob Lindner found Hughes guilty of the Grade 2 dangerous contact charge.

It means the one-week ban Hughes would have served is now increased to two weeks, missing this Friday's clash with the Wests Tigers and a Round 5 blockbuster against the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Hughes' party argued that Hughes didn't launch himself at Boyd, and that the contact was modest in terms of risk, with both players bracing.

The NRL's legal counsel, led by Hayden Knowles, argued that Hughes raced from marker and knocked Boyd forcefully to the ground, with Hughes not making an effort to effect a tackle or charge down.

The guilty verdict lumps more pressure on the Storm, who have lost two matches on the trot against the Canterbury Bulldogs and Gold Coast Titans.

Hughes was named on Tuesday to play the Tigers, but will now need to be replaced in the side, most likely by Jonah Pezet.

Cameron Munster is also due to return, but will need to pass fitness tests, meaning Melbourne's starting halves pairing could yet be Tyran Wishart and Pezet, who debuted last week.


  1. How embarrassing for League, it has become the new soccer. I believe the kickers need protection, but I would conclude everyone reading this would agree there would have been a dozen worse on the weekend. Sure it was ugly and not 100% sure what it achieved (except a suspension) but Boyd played that for all it was worth to get his penalty which he duly deserved, but that is what became the main point to sink Hughes. Woowee I hope the NRL keep up the same standards to all tackles, the game will be played with reserves. Tino fined in same game (no intent?)

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