Canberra five-eighth Jack Wighton was left red-faced after being hilariously pranked by a cheeky footy fan after he was sin-binned on Sunday.
Wighton was placed on report twice by referee Gerard Sutton in Sunday’s 24-14 loss to the Newcastle Knights, and on Monday morning was hit with a grade two dangerous contact charge that will see him get a two-game ban if he takes the early guilty plea.
The 2020 Dally M Winner’s 48th-minute high shot on Jackson Hastings was the most costly for his side as it saw Wighton sin-binned.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, Wighton’s day went from bad to worse when he fell for a timeless prank from a fan while walking down the tunnel.
The youngster held out his hand for a high-five and the Raiders star obliged – but the fan quickly withdrew his hand as he walked past.
Wighton was placed on report twice by referee Gerard Sutton in Sunday’s 24-14 loss to the Newcastle Knights, and will have a nervous wait at the NRL judiciary
The moment wasn’t lost on fans, who took to social media to congratulate the kid on the ‘brutal’ moment.
‘The greatest thing I have ever seen,’ commented one Twitter user
‘Someone get that kid a signed jersey. Brilliant,’ said another.
‘Why do I actually feel really bad for Wighton,’ commented a third.
Ricky Stuart’s side struggled for direction without Wighton and didn’t fare much better when he returned – but the Raiders coach refused to blame the loss on his playmaker’s brain explosion.
‘It doesn’t really matter what I think, Hastings got up pretty quickly,’ Stuart said.
‘He was falling when Jack came in, he was trying to change the momentum in a desperate period of play.
‘The other thing, I think, is the speed and intensity of the way it happened … nobody got injured, he just got clipped around the neck.
Ricky Stuart’s side struggled for direction without Wighton – but the Raiders coach refused to blame the loss on his playmaker’s brain explosion
With Wighton off the field, Newcastle ripped the Raiders’ left edge apart (pictured, Greg Marzhew scores a try for the Knights)
‘It [a sin-binning] has happened before and we’ve won games.’
With Wighton off the field, Newcastle ripped the Raiders’ left edge apart with Tyson Frizell as Adam O’Brien’s men hung on for their first win at home in seven games.
Tries to Hudson Young, Wighton and a two-point field-goal from Matt Frawley had given the Raiders a 14-8 lead at the break.
Greg Marzhew and Bradman Best had crossed to keep the Knights in the game but after halftime the Green Machine broke down.
In the 10-minute period after halftime, Marzhew added his second, Dane Gagai crossed and Frizell barged his way over after Wighton’s 10-minute dismissal.
‘They scored three tries and that’s unacceptable from our point of view,’ Stuart said.
‘They got their tails up and it was hard to pull back. It was inexcusable, some of the tries they scored.’
Even when Wighton returned, the Knights held firm as they frustrated a one-dimensional Raiders attack.
Even when Wighton returned the Knights held firm as they frustrated a one-dimensional Raiders attack
Hastings and halves partner Tyson Gamble, who continues to deputise well for Kalyn Ponga, looked assured.
‘Tyson has been an outstanding. He’s a competitor you win out there by competing and that’s what he gives us,’ said O’Brien, whose side face Manly in Mudgee on Saturday.
‘There’s an opportunity for us to go on a mission out there.
‘We need to address a few things defensively but we need to get excited about our week, we’re playing a good footy team but we’re a good footy team [too].’
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