Newcastle Knights star Jacob Saifiti could be set for a lengthy stint on the sidelines after a shocking hit in his side’s win over the Wests Tigers.
Saifiti was given his marching orders after collecting Jake Simpkin in the second half of the Knights’ 14-12 win at Leichhardt Oval.
The incident occurred when Simpkin, from dummy-half, cut back on the inside and found Saifiti essentially just sticking an arm out.
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League legend Phil Gould was left stunned at the hit from Saifiti.
“Whatever could go wrong for the Knights has gone wrong, all day. Oh, dear oh dear. He was trying to cover two players at once – he’s just hung an arm out,” he said on Nine’s NRL coverage.
Nine’s lead commentator Mat Thompson called the hit a “shocker” and “most unsavoury”.
The hit was one of many in a fiery clash between the two sides who both came into the match after round one losses.
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The afternoon began in shocking fashion for the Knights when club captain Kalyn Ponga was forced off the field with another concussion, his fourth in the span of 10 months, in the opening minutes.
Ponga was knocked out cold after clashing heads with Asu Kepaoa in the second minute.
Knights halfback Jackson Hastings was also involved in a fiery fracas with his former teammates after being placed on report due to a high hit on Tommy Talau.
Kalyn Ponga suffers early head knock
Talau was left bleeding and did not return after an incident which Hastings called a “pure accident” after the game.
“I honestly didn’t think I got him, obviously I did (because) he’s bleeding,” Hastings told Fox League after the game.
“I’m really sorry for Tommy, I’ll say sorry to him after this. It was a pure accident. I was trying to stop a try, there was no malice in it.
“He came out me obviously and he was well within his rights.”
The win drops the Tigers to 0-2 in what’s been a tough start to Tim Sheens’ return stint at the club.
Sheens’ side will travel to Belmore next week to take on the Bulldogs, while the 1-1 Knights will face the Dolphins in their home opener.
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