HOT WATER: Cronulla's James Maloney.
HOT WATER: Cronulla's James Maloney. DAN PELED

Maloney facing suspension over twisting tackle

POWERHOUSE Titans centre Konrad Hurrell joked with Cronulla rival James Maloney about trying to milk a penalty in Monday night's NRL draw.

But Maloney wasn't laughing with the real possibility he could miss three of the Sharks' last five games over the tackle.

While on-field officials and the Bunker dismissed the 88th-minute incident, video showed Maloney twisting Hurrell's left leg in a bid to bring him to the ground.

Hurrell, who stayed down and required medical treatment before resuming play, told Maloney after the game he was "trying to milk a penalty”.

The NRL's match review committee, however, saw it differently. Maloney may have to challenge the grading or the charge and risk missing three games if he fails.

With an early plea, which he has to lodge today, Maloney would miss games against Canberra and St George Illawarra.

As the club's leading scorer and goal kicker, any suspension would impact heavily on its bid to beat the Storm, who the Sharks play in the final round, to the minor premiership.

The video doesn't do Maloney any favours and had the incident not happened in extra time when referees are reluctant to blow their whistle, it may well have attracted a penalty.

Hurrell looked to be injured but a minute later he charged on to a ball and smashed his way towards Cronulla's try line without any sign of injury.

Cronulla may have to take a gamble on going to the judiciary in Sydney tonight even just for a downgrade, especially if Hurrell is prepared to confirm Maloney's claims he wasn't hurt in the tackle.