TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 14: Jeremiah Nanai of the Cowboys scores a try during the round 22 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Wests Tigers at QCB Stadium, on August 14, 2021, in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

North Queensland Cowboys gun forward Jeremiah Nanai has been hit with a Grade 1 dangerous contact charge for a cannonball tackle on Addin Fonua-Blake during Friday night's big win over the New Zealand Warriors in Townsville.

The tackle, which occurred in the 13th minute of the game, saw Fonua-Blake attempting to bring the ball out of his own end for the Warriors after they conceded two tries in the opening ten minutes.

While the tackle seemed innocuous at real speed, Fonua-Blake remained on the ground and had to be assessed by the trainer before being allowed to continue.

Held up by two teammates, Nanai directly targeted the knee region of Fonua-Blake in a sort of tackle the NRL have desperately been trying to stamp out of the game in recent times.

Despite the NRL's need to remove the tackle from the Game, the Grade 1 charge - being a second offence for the season - will see Nanai eligible for an $1800 fine for accepting an early guilty plea., or $2500 if he heads to the judiciary and loses the challenge.

Nanai, who has been one of the Cowboys' biggest stars this season, will now walk the suspension tightrope for the remainder of the season, with this being his second offence of the season.

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The NRL's new judiciary code for 2022 sees penalties increase with each offence on a players record over a 12-month window, and virtually any charge, even at Grade 1 level, would earn a suspension from here on out for the Cowboys' forward.

The full list of charges for a third offence can be seen below:

Offence Grade Early guilty plea Fight charge and lose
High tackle - careless 1 $3000 2 matches
2 3 matches 4 matches
3 4 matches 5 matches
High tackle - reckless 1 5 matches 6 matches
2 6 matches 7 matches
3 7 matches 8 matches
Dangerous contact 1 $3000 2 matches
2 3 matches 4 matches
3 4 matches 5 matches
Dangerous throw 1 2 matches 3 matches
2 4 matches 5 matches
3 6 matches 7 matches
Striking 1 3 matches 4 matches
2 4 matches 5 matches
3 5 matches 6 matches
Crusher tackle 1 3 matches 4 matches
2 4 matches 5 matches
3 5 matches 6 matches
Contrary conduct 1 $3000 2 matches
2 3 matches 4 matches
3 4 matches 5 matches
Shoulder charge 1 3 matches 4 matches
2 4 matches 5 matches
3 5 matches 6 matches

Nanai and the Cowboys have until midday on Sunday to decide whether they will accept the early guilty plea or fight the charge at the judiciary.