Sydney Roosters rookie Dylan Napa may become the first player booked by the judiciary for a shoulder charge in an NRL game, as the match-review committee scrutinises a tackle that forced James Graham from the field on Friday night.
The incident occurred on the same weekend that Auckland Vulcans prop Agnatius Paasi became the first player sent off for a shoulder charge after a tackle that knocked out Wests Tigers forward Michael Bullock in their NSW Cup game on Saturday.
While the shoulder charge was banned during the off-season, few players have been punished for the illegal tackle.
Parramatta's Fuifui Moimoi is so far the only player suspended for a shoulder charge but that occurred while the prop was playing for Tonga in the Pacific Test against Samoa in April.
Manly's Richie Fa'aoso was also banned for a match but that was on a dangerous-contact charge but controversy over the judiciary reducing his suspension to one match over a tackle that left Gold Coast's Ashley Harrison with concussion led to the new indirect-contact charge.
Several players have been charged with indirect contact resulting from a head clash arising after they had made a shoulder charge, but no player has been booked for a shoulder charge in the NRL.
Napa was placed on report after smashing Graham in a tackle just before half-time in the Roosters gritty 20-18 win over Canterbury at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
Graham was forced from the field and did not return, and Bulldogs officials later reported he had suffered a shoulder injury. The former England captain left the stadium with his arm in a sling but he is expected to be fit for Canterbury's next match.
The match-review committee will study footage of the incident on Monday to determine whether Napa had used his arm or if the tackle was a shoulder charge, as match officials alleged when he was placed on report.
Canberra's Mitchell Barnett and Tahakilu Pangai and Wests Tigers pair Nathan Brown and Kyle Lovett are expected to be charged over a brawl in Saturday's under-20s match at Campbelltown Stadium. Barnett and Brown were sent off. Pangai and Lovett were sin-binned.