EPALAHAME Lauaki is facing a two-match ban over his costly dangerous tackle against Warrington.
Coach Shaun Wane last night confirmed Wigan’s intention to enter an early guilty plea after the Tongan forward was cited by the RFL’s match review panel.
They have until 11am today to formally enter the plea to the Grade C offence, which will rule him out of their next two matches – against Salford this Friday and at St Helens the following week.
If they contested the challenge and lost, Lauaki could have been hit with a bigger punishment.
Lauaki’s 71st-minute offence handed Warrington the penalty which allowed Brett Hodgson to boot them to a dramatic 22-20 victory.
He faced no action for an earlier challenge which was also placed on report, of leading with the forearm, but Wolves’ backrower Ben Westwood was cited for retaliation – even though his swinging arm hit his own team-mate, Trent Waterhouse.
Lauaki’s absence could be offset by the return of Cumbrian prop Lee Mossop. He has missed the last two matches after injuring his ankle against at Widnes.
Wane said: “Lee is in with a chance – we’ll give him until as late as we can.”
If Mossop does not recover then young prop Tom Spencer could come be thrust back onto the big stage.
The coach also has concerns over Pat Richards, who injured his leg against Warrington, but will also give him a chance to prove his fitness.