Waerea-Hargreaves cops one ban, will fight another

Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves' moment of madness has cost him a spot in the Sydney Roosters' do-or-die clash with South Sydney, after the prop pleaded guilty to a striking charge.

Waerea-Hargreaves on Monday accepted a three-game ban for headbutting Wests Tigers prop Stefano Utoikamanu in Saturday's round-26 clash, ruling out the Roosters man until at least the preliminary finals.

The Tricolours firebrand has opted to challenge his grade-two dangerous contact charge, in a bid to avoid an additional three-game suspension for a shot on Apisai Koroisau moments earlier in the same match.

If successful in downgrading the charge, the Roosters prop will be able to pay a $3000 fine and avoid any further ban.

Waerea-Hargreaves will miss three games if he is successful with Tuesday night's appeal, or seven if he is unsuccessful.

Any ban would carry into New Zealand's end-of-season Test series and next year's NRL.

The Roosters need to beat the Rabbitohs on Friday night and have other results fall in their favour if they are to reach the finals.

Waerea-Hargreaves' case will be one of two on Tuesday night, after Canberra prop Corey Horsburgh opted to challenge his three-match ban for a shoulder charge.

The Queensland State of Origin forward was charged with a grade-one offence for a late-game challenge on Brisbane forward Corey Jensen in Saturday's 29-18 win for the Broncos.

Any suspension would rule Horsburgh out of the Raiders' potentially crucial final-round clash with the Sharks on Sunday, as well as the first two weeks of the finals if Canberra progress that far.

The Raiders will try to overturn the charge, allowing Horbsburgh to face Cronulla.

If they are unsuccessful, the 25-year-old will miss a fourth match and would be unable to return until the grand final, should Canberra qualify.

Currently seventh on the ladder, the Raiders will know by the time they take the field on Sunday whether they need to beat the Sharks to qualify for the finals.

If Penrith beat North Queensland on Saturday night, the Raiders will have their spot in the top eight wrapped up.

But a Cowboys win would leave Canberra needing victory to qualify for the finals.