The Telegraph
Mini in a mountain of trouble

Mini in a mountain of trouble

Sat August 18, 2012 7:30pm

THE Roosters' season has been thrown into chaos after a shocking send-off tackle from fullback Anthony Minichiello thrust them into wooden spoon territory in a four-point loss to the Raiders.

 Raiders star Josh Dugan was left with a black eye and bloodied cheek after Minichiello was sensationally sent-off for a brutal hit to Dugan's head in the 75th minute with his elbow, in a throw-back to rugby league's dirty days.

As the Raiders climbed one step closer to the finals, Minichiello may have taken a giant step towards playing his final game for the Chooks in 2012.

In a massive blow to the Bondi club, the 32-year-old is now stranded on 249 games, with the club likely to be forced to abandon plans to celebrate his milestone match against the Tigers at Allianz Stadium next Sunday.

The club has already been asking fans to send messages of support to the champion former Kangaroos international for the occasion.

He can now expect messages from the NRL match review committee on Monday.

With the game in the balance with six minutes to play and the home side 22-16 in front, Minichiello's send-off ignited the parochial crowd who were calling for vengeance from referees Shayne Hayne and Alan Shortall.

Minichiello, long-known as one of rugby league's most respected and loved figures, may now have an asterisk next to his permanent record after his uncharacteristic tackle on Dugan while the Canberra number one darted towards the try-line in open-play.

Roosters players and coach Brian Smith last night refused to talk about the incident.

"The league have instructed us all, given us a warning about not talking about foul play incidents or whatever. So we won't be making any comment about that," Smith said.

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