Pangai NRL ban 'unfair': Ofahengaue
Brisbane's Joe Ofahengaue says it is "unfair" teammate Tevita Pangai has copped a five-week crusher tackle ban before Friday night's NRL clash with South Sydney.
Pangai's season might be over after unsuccessfully trying to get a downgrade for his tackle on Penrith's James Maloney.
The Broncos' enforcer on Tuesday night contested a grade two dangerous contact charge but the suspension was blown out to five weeks due to carryover points from three different offences in the past two years.
Pangai - who would have been sidelined for four weeks with an early plea - can only play again this year if Brisbane reach the preliminary final.
Ofahengaue said the Broncos were reeling from the penalty.
"It is upsetting for everyone at the club. I think it is unfair but it is how it is," he said.
"We will miss him for the next five weeks.
"He sent a message on Whatsapp saying 'sorry' but he had nothing to say sorry about; as a club we have to move on."
Ofahengaue admitted he was left scratching his head over why Pangai was charged for flopping on Maloney.
"You have aggressive players like Tevita and (South Sydney's) Sam Burgess who try and do something for the team but no one goes out there to try and hurt each other," he said.
"He just got unlucky on that night. Old mate (Maloney) was trying to get up and Tevita fell on him.
"We will have to do our best to try and fill what we are missing from him."
St George Illawarra hard man James Graham slammed the judiciary for the Pangai verdict, describing it as over the top.
"It does seem excessive. I know there is loading but five weeks for that, it seems a bit over the top," he told Fox Sports' NRL 360.
"It just seems going to the judiciary is a bit of a lottery this year.
"You just don't know what you are going to get."
Asked what punishment the tackle deserved, Graham said: "Possibly a penalty was sufficient."
It is a major blow for seventh-placed Brisbane before their finals tilt after already losing halfback Jake Turpin for two games.
Turpin took an early plea after he was charged with a grade two dangerous contact offence over a swinging arm in Brisbane's 24-12 win over the Panthers.
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