Cowboys' forward duo facing NRL bans

North Queensland are set to lose forward pair Josh McGuire and John Asiata for Friday's NRL match against Penrith, with both facing bans.

JOSH MCGUIRE of Queensland leaves the field at half-time during the State of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
JOSH MCGUIRE of Queensland leaves the field at half-time during the State of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

North Queensland's chances of halting Penrith's winning run have got even slimmer with Josh McGuire and John Asiata both facing suspension.

The Cowboys' forward pair have been charged by the NRL judiciary for separate offences in Sunday's heavy loss to Melbourne.

McGuire is facing a one-game sanction after being charged with a grade-one contrary conduct offence towards referee Grant Atkins early in the 36-20 loss.

The Queensland State of Origin representative was sent to the sin bin for dissent after mouthing off to Atkins in the seventh minute following a play-the-ball.

McGuire's poor behaviour record means he'd face a two-game ban if he contests the charge and loses, with carryover points to be added, while he'll be banned for Friday's clash with the Panthers with an early guilty plea.

Asiata is also set for a spell on the sidelines, charged with a grade-two dangerous contact offence on young Storm forward Tino Faasuamaleaui in the 29th minute of the match.

The 27-year-old will miss one game with an early plea or two matches if he contests the charge and loses.

The pair's absence would be a setback for interim Cowboys coach Josh Hannay with ladder-leaders Penrith heading to Townsville after wrapping up a top-two finish with a 20-2 win over Parramatta last week, their 13th victory in a row.

Warriors' prop Jamayne Taunoa-Brown is also facing a ban after being slapped with a grade-two dangerous contact charge from Sunday's loss to Cronulla.

Taunoa-Brown faces two games out if found guilty but would miss just one match if he takes the early plea.