Cowboys great Johnathan Thurston has hit out at Canberra's Hudson Young for his alleged eye-gouging incident just weeks after returning from a suspension for the same offence.
Young was handed an eight-match ban on Wednesday night for making dangerous contact on Warriors centre Adam Pompey's eyes in their clash on the weekend.
The Raiders forward missed five games for the exact same charge against Canterbury’s Aiden Tolman in round 12.
And it has left Thurston puzzled.
“He’s already missed five weeks for it … is he the dumbest player ever? Clearly. Imagine how Sticky (Ricky Stuart) and his teammates are feeling right now. He’s rubbed himself out of the finals series and he’ll miss a fair chunk of next year. As a player, I’d be filthy we’re missing one of our best 17 for the finals,” Thurston told The Daily Telegraph.
Canberra turned to legal guru Nick Ghabar, the man who helped South Sydney’s Sam Burgess escape suspension for his tackle on Cronulla’s Matt Moylan back in round 20, but was ultimately unsuccessful.
Raiders skipper Jarrod Croker came out to defend to his teammate.
“He’s a good kid, it wasn’t ideal on the weekend. He’s been through a few things when he was younger and he’s come out the other side. He’s been playing some really good footy so we are making sure he’s wellbeing is good,” he said.
“He’s doing well. We had a breakfast and he was there and was in good spirits and I haven’t seen him since then. There’s not much more we can do until tonight.”
The Raiders face the Melbourne Storm i this Saturday night's qualifying final at AAMI Park at 5:40pm (AEST).