Wests Tigers prop Bryce Gibbs has been suspended for three matches after failing to have a dangerous contact charge downgraded at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night.
Gibbs will miss the final two matches of the minor premiership and the first week of finals should the 10th-placed Tigers make the top eight.
He was handed a grade two charge by the NRL match review committee for dropping his knees into the back of Parramatta winger Luke Burt during the Eels’ 26-18 victory over the Tigers at Sydney Football Stadium last Friday night.
Had the Tigers been successful in having the charge downgraded, Gibbs would have been free to play Gold Coast in Robina on Saturday night.
Tigers chief executive Stephen Humphreys says Gibbs’ suspension may prove costly in terms of the club’s chance of making the finals.
“In the context of our season we paid a very big price for the eight-point try and add into that a three-game suspension for Bryce for what was accepted as accidental contact,” he said.
“It’s a tough one for us.”
The Tigers are one point outside the top eight and need to win their remaining fixtures if they are to have any chance of qualifying for their first finals series since winning the 2005 premiership.