Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire will speak to Joey Leilua about his discipline after the star centre lost control in Saturday night’s 19-12 loss to Penrith following a high tackle on brother Luciano and finished the match in the sin-bin and on report.
The Wests Tigers centre has been hit with a grade three dangerous contact charge (head/neck) and faces a ban of between four (early plea) and six weeks (if found guilty).
A high tackle on Luciano by Panthers hooker Api Koroisau enabled the Tigers to level the scores at 12-12 in the 60th minute but three penalties conceded by an emotional Leilua proved costly and referee Adam Gee finally banished him for an off-the-ball high shot on Dylan Edwards.
Maguire later revealed that there had initially been concerns that Luciano may have suffered a fractured jaw in the tackle but he said there was no excuse for Joey to lose his cool.
“He was emotional and he gave away penalties, you just can’t do that,” Maguire said.
“He is aware of it. He has been around long enough. He knows what he has to do. I will talk to Joey.
“They are costly moments and we need to be better in those situations. Those are the things we will be talking about during the week.”
Second-rower Luke Garner was also placed on report for a high tackle on Edwards as he leapt for a kick on the final tackle of the game, which sparked a melee after full-time.
Match Highlights: Wests Tigers v Panthers
Garner was not charged over the incident.
“You could see that there was a lot of passion, the boys are fighting really hard to change what we have spoken about over the last month and now it is about channelling that to be able to win those close games,” Maguire said.
“We put ourselves in a great position to take the game but they have got to learn how to take the next step.”
Since Maguire wielded the axe after last month’s loss to Gold Coast, the Tigers have enjoyed big wins over North Queensland and Canterbury and impressive losses to Canberra and Penrith.
However, they will drop out of the top eight if Manly beat Newcastle or South Sydney win against the Bulldogs on Sunday.
“After the Titans game I spoke about how we need to change the club and we have been doing that,” Maguire said.
"I had to make some tough calls there about changes but I have seen what this team is very capable of.
“We have got to learn fast to make the right decisions in moments within games. There are a lot of great things going on within the team, now we have to take the step forward.
“We should be higher than where we are. We are a better team than I guess we showed at times but we are the ones in control of that. We need to be better.”
Interchange forward Sam McIntyre was taken to hospital after a head clash with Penrith prop Zane Tetevano in the first half.