Waerea-Hargreaves to contest ban

The Sydney Roosters will to take on the NRL judiciary in the hope of clearing enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves for Saturday night's qualifying final against Manly.

Waerea-Hargreaves will front the judiciary on Tuesday night after he was slapped with a grade one dangerous contact charge for his stray use of the forearm in his side's spiteful win over South Sydney on Friday night.

The fiery Kiwi international struck the Rabbitohs' Chris McQueen in the chin as he took a hit-up late in the Roosters' 24-12 win which secured the minor premiership.

Waerea-Hargreaves will miss one match regardless of whether he pleads guilty or fights the charge at the judiciary and loses, meaning the Roosters are likely to try their luck.

While the grade one charge normally would have seen Waerea-Hargreaves available for this weekend's clash, he has 18 carryover points from the tackle which saw him sent off against the Sea Eagles earlier this season.

"It will be a blow for us (if Waerea-Hargreaves is out)," Roosters skipper Anthony Minichiello told Sportal on Monday.

"But through the year we've covered guys that have been out.

"Myself, Sonny (Bill Williams), Jared (Waerea-Hargreaves) have all missed games and we've still been pretty consistent.

"We've got a god structure in our squad that we can manage it, but we definitely prefer to have him in our side."

While Minichiello tried to play it down, there's no doubt the absence of Waerea-Hargreaves would be a huge blow to the Roosters' chances against Manly.

The hard-running prop has been one of the best forwards in the game this season and he adds a real intimidation factor to the Tri-Colours' pack.

"It's a fine line sometimes. We need our front rowers or our forward pack to play aggressive but we don't want him out either," Minichiello said.

"We want him playing this week so hopefully it works out that way."

While Waerea-Hargreaves' availability is unknown, the Roosters are set to have stars Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (ankle), Mitchell Aubusson (concussion) and Luke O'Donnell (suspension) back for the Allianz Stadium clash.

After knocking off the Rabbitohs to secure the JJ Giltinan Shield, Minichiello admitted confidence is high among his side but he knows they will have to go to another level against the experienced and battle-hardened Sea Eagles.

"They bring that physical battle each week and you know will be up for the game," Minichiello said of a Manly side heading into a ninth-straight finals series.

"You've got to prepare to work hard because they work hard for the full 80 minutes and we have to do the same.

"It's going to be a tight match and we'll have to be ready.

"We needed to put a good performance in Friday night as prior to that we had a couple of losses where we didn't play our best games. We're confident and looking forward to the game."

The Roosters won both previous clashes against the Sea Eagles this season, including an 18-12 victory back in Round 16.
Source: Perform
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