Knights prop Jack Hetherington charged for off-field tunnel altercation with Canterbury’s Reed Mahoney

  • Jack Hetherington and Reed Mahoney involved in tunnel dispute
  • Review committee accused Hetherington of contrary behavior
  • Newcastle Knights lost to Canterbury on Sunday

Knights forward Jack Hetherington has been handed a one-match ban for his role in an altercation with Bulldogs player Reed Mahoney in the tunnel after the pair were sent to the sin bin.

The Bulldogs enjoyed a big win at Accor Stadium, but their victory was somewhat overshadowed after the explosive encounter, which saw the pair previously sent off after an on-field collision.

Footage appeared to show Hetherington throwing a straight jab into Mahoney’s chest as the Bulldogs star made his way through the tunnel.

The review committee investigated the incident on Monday morning and accused the Knights prop of unruly behavior and faces a week on the sidelines with an early guilty plea.

Mahoney was also charged Monday, but his offense only carries a $1,000 fine with an early guilty plea.

Bulldogs hooker Mahoney enjoyed a great display and influenced his side’s win, but was given a stint in the sin bin in the dying moments of the game.

Two footy stars were involved in an altercation in the tunnel after the match

Jack Hetherington was not happy when Reed Mahoney waved him off the field

Jack Hetherington was not happy when Reed Mahoney waved him off the field

As he walked through the tunnel, he was confronted by an angry Hetherington after jumping out of the Knights’ dressing room to confront him.

Hetherington allegedly shoved Mahoney before he was separated.

He was insulted after Mahoney rudely waved him off after being dismissed from the match earlier.

Newcastle’s NRL woes have been compounded by another injury to star fullback Kalyn Ponga in a weak 36-12 loss to Canterbury.

The Knights were dealt a blow in Sydney on Sunday, with Bulldog Bronson Xerri scoring his first try since 2019 in his comeback from a four-year drugs ban and Ponga adding a possible foot injury to an ongoing hip problem.

The result improved the new Bulldogs to 3-4, while the Knights – fifth after last year’s regular season – fell to 2-5 after another late roster call failed to get them going.

Ponga, who will be hoping to return to contention for home state Queensland this season, has been struggling with a hip injury this season and was clearly in pain when he returned for the second half.

Hetherington was sacked earlier in the game and the Bulldogs' hooker taunted him

Hetherington was sacked earlier in the game and the Bulldogs’ hooker taunted him

He eventually limped off for good and stepped into a moon boot after Bulldogs utility Bailey Hayward raced out of nowhere to plant a grubber under the nose of the Newcastle co-captain.

That made it 24-6, before Josh Addo-Carr flew expertly into the right corner to seal the match with just over twenty minutes remaining.

Newcastle made a late personnel move by relegating five-eighth Jack Cogger to the NSW Cup and bringing Tyson Gamble back into the starting line-up to partner halfback Jackson Hastings.

However, their fourth-half substitution in seven games – that duo started the season together – amounted to little as the Knights’ kicking game was easily outpaced by the boot of Bulldogs playmaker Matt Burton.

The pair came to blows as Mahoney was sent off in the final blows of the match

The pair came to blows as Mahoney was sent off in the final blows of the match

The left-footer scored a 40-20 that led to Jacob Kiraz’s early try, with the Bulldogs defusing every Newcastle kick and the Knights making just three linebreaks.

Dylan Lucas scored for Newcastle after a flat Gamble pass but Greg Marzhew knocked on from the restart and Xerri, back in the NRL this year after testing positive for testosterone in November 2019, had an immediate answer.

Stephen Crichton, a key off-season signing, added something extra when he completed a wonderful team try down the right flank before tempers flared in the final minutes.