North Queensland Cowboys lock Josh McGuire could be facing a two-week suspension after the audio from his R-rated spray directed at an official was unveiled.
McGuire was sent from the field by referee Grant Atkins in the 7th minute of Sunday’s NRL match against the Melbourne Storm at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
The Cowboys were leading 4-0 and had possession when Atkins stopped play, pointed out McGuire and held up 10 fingers, citing dissent.
Atkins was picked up by microphones saying: “You can go to the bin for that … I’m not copping that dissent, I’m not going to repeat what you said, but you can go.”
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Melbourne scored twice during the 10 minutes McGuire was off the field, and the Cowboys never recovered.
The referee’s mic later revealed the Queensland Maroons star’s vile words: “F*** me, c***”.
On Monday, McGuire was charged with Grade One Contrary Conduct, and NRL.com reported he would miss two games, or one if he takes an early guilty plea.
With only two rounds remaining in the premiership, there is a possibility McGuire’s season is already over.
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New South Wales coach Brad Fittler slammed the 30-year-old’s “pathetic” actions, which wrecked the Cowboys’ early lead at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
“They nailed the start, the perfect start, and then for their most experienced player – who has played over 220 games – to be sin-binned for foul language towards the referee is just pathetic really,” Fittler said on Channel 9.
“Whatever chance they had, old Josh might’ve taken that away.”
Earlier this season, Manly Sea Eagles forward Addin Fonua-Blake was also sent off for verbally abusing Atkins.
During the round 8 clash against the Newcastle Knights at Brookvale Oval, Fonua-Blake called the referee a “f***ing r****d”.
The 24-year-old was suspended for two weeks and fined $20,000 by the NRL, all of which was donated to Wheelchair Rugby League Australia.
Melbourne secured a 36-20 victory over North Queensland, who next weekend will take on the Penrith Panthers in Townsville.