The Sun-Herald understands club officials have already reached out to high-flying lawyer Nick Ghabar – the man with the Midas touch at League HQ – to view their case.
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary said of the Kikau incident after the game: “He [Waerea-Hargreaves] definitely went past horizontal, but I thought he did enough to get him out of that dangerous position.
“The problem with ‘Kiks’ is he’s so big and he gets discriminated against because he’s so big. Everything he does looks worse.”
Kikau could have avoided a one-match ban with an early plea, but he has carry-over points from a dangerous contact charge for a tackle on Cronulla’s Braydon Trindall in round 15.
Waerea-Haregreaves went to discuss the Kikau incident after the game, but was quickly gagged by Roosters officials, given he was on report for the high tackle on Edwards.
Kikau, Stephen Crichton and Jarome Luai have formed one of the most lethal left-edge combinations in the NRL with Kikau regarded as one of the best edge forwards in the game.
His teammates spoke about his importance to the premiership cause, including Luai who was in the same Waerea-Haregreaves tackle, and did not think much of it.
“I was around that tackle and he [Waerea-Hargreaves] didn’t land on his head,” Luai said.
“He’s a strike weapon for us. I enjoy playing with big Kiks.”
Nathan Cleary added: “He’s a massive part of this team. He’s an absolute freak, and I don’t know any halves who would like to tackle him. I defend him at training sometimes and it’s a nightmare. He’s a massive presence in our team and he brings a lot of X-factor on that left edge.”
Waerea-Hargreaves can pay an $850 fine for collecting Edwards, the same penalty he paid for the same offence in round three on Souths winger Alex Johnston. Under the NRL rules, players can be fined twice for a high shot during the regular season, then a third potential fine rather than a suspension during the finals.
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.