‘Unbelievable’: Fiery star’s horror return

Jack Hetherington’s return from suspension has not gone to plan, with the Canterbury forward put on report less than three minutes into Saturday afternoon’s match against the Penrith Panthers.

Ninety seconds into the Round 12 contest in Penrith, Hetherington gifted the Panthers an early penalty for a high shot on rival prop James Fisher-Harris.

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“That didn’t take long,” Queensland great Corey Parker joked on Fox League.

Remarkably, the 24-year-old was once again pinged for a high tackle 60 seconds later, his arm wrapping around the neck of Viliame Kikau.

“Not again, not again,” Fox League commentator Andrew Voss cried.

“You don’t have to go that high, do you?

“Oh no, this can’t be. This is unbelievable, this is unbelievable.

“I don’t know what to say. I’m without speech.”

Jeers echoed around the venue as referee Matt Noyen put the baffled Hetherington on report.

“It’s still slipping up. That’s two (high tackles) in two sets of six,” Noyen told Bulldogs captain Josh Jackson.

“He needs to fix, talk to him.”

Jack Hetherington of the Bulldogs.Source:Getty Images

To rub salt into the wounds, Panthers winger Charlie Staines dived over near the corner-post soon after to get the hosts on the scoreboard.

“If you’re a Bulldogs fan you’ve got to be relieved it’s 13 on 13, you’ve conceded the first try and it’s only five minutes in,” Voss said.

“I don’t know, there would be fans watching thinking that two high tackles in the first three minutes, you’re off the field.

“You don’t want Canterbury playing with 12, I don’t know what to say. We all feared it and all kind of half joked about Jack Hetherington.

“But for it to happen twice in the first three minutes. Surely the words from Trent Barrett would be ringing in his ears?

“Given the crackdown I’m very confused Hetherington is still out there. It doesn’t seem to line up with the last two weeks.”

Hetherington loves nothing more than a suspension 😂 #NRLIndigenousRound#NRL

Is Jack Hetherington seriously on report – TWICE – in first three minutes?

Hetherington had just returned from a five-week suspension for a high shot on Cowboys fullback Valentine Holmes during Canterbury’s Round 6 loss in Townsville.

The Panthers cruised past the Bulldogs on Saturday, becoming the third team in Australian rugby league history — and the first since 1995 — to begin a season with twelve consecutive victories.

Penrith’s Origin candidates played like their minds were on selection at stages, but it’s unlikely to cost them a Blues berth despite a clunky performance against the bottom-placed Bulldogs.

As NSW coach Brad Fittler watched on from the stands with his selection pencil in hand, the Panthers struggled in the first half before flexing their muscles in the second to record a comfortable 30-4 win.

Penrith pocket rockets Brian To’o and Liam Martin produced solid performances to put up their hands up as Blues bolters.

Fittler will name his NSW Origin squad on Sunday night, with at least five Penrith players named to take on Queensland on June 9.

The Panthers have now won their last 15 games at BlueBet Stadium.

Penrith prop Moses Leota was sin-binned in the final minutes for a high shot on Canterbury halfback Jake Averillo.

— with NCA NewsWire

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