Experienced Sharks forward Chris Heighington has decided to plead not guilty to the Grade One Dangerous Throw charge imposed on him by the match review committee from the game against Manly on Sunday.
Heighington was charged for a tackle on Sea Eagles prop Josh Starling in the 24th minute of the match.
The charge attracted a 140 point penalty for an early guilty plea, 187 points if challenging and found guilty.
Heighington also has 78 carry-over points from a previous charge, points which would be added to either a guilty verdict or not guilty plea, meaning should he have accepted or been unsuccessful in a challenge, he would miss two matches either way.
Due to the State of Origin match the judiciary hearing will be on Thursday rather than Wednesday, with the exact timing of Heighington’s appearance to be determined after tomorrow night’s big game.
The potential loss of Heighington would be a blow to the Sharks who have relied on his experience during skipper Paul Gallen’s absence due to injury and Origin commitments.