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Canberra Raiders star Corey Harawira-Naera said "I have never left the field feeling so disgusted in myself" after he was sent off for a nasty, head-high shot which left Jahrome Hughes heavily concussed.
With the Melbourne Storm leading the Raiders and mounting another attack late in the game, Harawira-Naera came rushing out of the defensive line in a bid to tackle Hughes.
Getting his positioning all wrong, the forward's shoulder connected with Hughes' head which sent the Storm half collapsing to the turf under the amount of force.
"OOOOOOHHHHHH!!" :scream::astonished:- NRL on Nine (@NRLonNine) August 12, 2021
Harawira-Naera Sent Off after a monstrous collision. Wow. Let's hope Jahrome is ok. :anguished:
STREAM: https://t.co/XVQAGwZWdc#9WWOS #NRL #NRLStormRaiders pic.twitter.com/zXmURQM0YP
While some players sensed that Hughes was very groggy and attempted to protect him, others took exception to the dangerous hit and a melee ensued.
When it was eventually defused, the referee wasted no time in sending Harawira-Naera from the field as the match review committee slapped him with a grade three reckless high tackle charge which carries a three to four week suspension.
As for Hughes, he immediately received medical attention on the pitch and was eventually escorted down the tunnel with the help of Storm staff.
Clearly upset with the events that unfolded, Harawira-Naera looked absolutely gutted in the moments after the hit and has now issued an apology to his opponent.
"In all my days of playing this game of Rugby League, I have never left the field feeling so disgusted in myself to the point where I had sat in the sheds and balled my eyes out for a good 5 minutes," he posted on Instagram.
"The picture I have in my head of when I first looked up after the collision of your eyes rolled to back to your head and your body stiff bro @jahromehughes and being the cause of it gave me a feeling I never want to feel again or would never want anyone else to feel.
"What happened last night I wouldn't wish upon my biggest enemy and struggling to sleep last night hopefully shows how remorseful and sorry I am my bro, and I have what's coming to me when it comes to judiciary and will serve the time I have to. All love my bro and I hope to see you back to full health firstly and back on the field in no time bro."
If Harawira-Naera enters an early guilty plea, he'll cop a three-match suspension.
But if he chooses to fight the case and loses, he'll miss four NRL games.
Judging by his apology, though, it seems the Raiders forward will acknowledge his guilt and accept the three-game ban which is handed to him.
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