Roosters' Keary charged for making contact with referee

Luke Keary has been handed a $1000 fine for grabbing referee Gerard Sutton during the Sydney Roosters' 22-20 win over Newcastle.

Keary pulled at Sutton's right arm attempting to chase Knights centre Bradman Best as he made a break down the left side in the opening minutes on Thursday night.

The referee appeared to enter Keary's field of vision before the five-eighth made contact and then tumbled into teammate Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.

Sutton stayed upright, with broadcast vision showing Keary look over at the referee after regaining his footing.

The match review committee charged Keary with grade-one contrary conduct on Friday morning, which carries a $1000 fine with an early guilty plea. Keary risks having to pay $1500 by challenging the charge.

The issue of referee contact has been in sharper focus this season after Melbourne halfback Jahrome Hughes received a one-match ban for pushing Chris Butler during the Storm's win over the Warriors.

The decision to suspend Hughes proved divisive among media pundits, with the Storm questioning the charge in a strongly worded statement.

Penrith five-eighth Jarome Luai was the most recent player before Hughes to face sanction for contacting a match official.

He received a $1800 fine last season for pushing touch judge Chris Sutton while celebrating a try in a victory over Brisbane.

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