Next time you are at the pub over a beer with an AFL or rugby guy, think twice before arguing that the National Rugby League is the toughest sport going.
The Australian Rugby League Commission have decided in their infinite wisdom to ban the shoulder charge.
What the hell are we doing?
Brutality makes our game what it is. Would the NRL have received over a billion dollars for the TV rights without the shoulder charge?
Its not always pretty and sometimes you can go a whole game without seeing a big one. But don’t tell me when you see Ben Hannant or David Shillington returning the ball for Queensland you don’t want to see a New South Welshmen put a shot on them and send them back over the border.
“This is about reducing a potential risk of serious injury to our players,” NRL Interim Chief Executive Shane Mattiske said yesterday.
“The Commission has gone through a thorough review process and been public in warning players about the risks of illegal play.
“The report shows that the shoulder charge is not a significant part of the game and its removal is not likely to impact on the way the game is played.
“With the increase in size and strength of the players, we believe this is the time to eliminate a potential risk.”
Hate to burst your bubble Shane but off course its going to impact the game.
Will a side like Manly-Warringah be the same? A team that plays on the edge and sometimes goes over it.
It will eventually get to the stage where clubs cant afford to have men like Steve Matai or Anthony Watmough in their side in fear of losing them on long suspensions. All because these players thrive on aggression and want to hurt their opponents for the good of their own team?
Did anyone even ask the players what they want?
The report stated that 0.05% of tackles were shoulder charges and 5% of them resulted in injury. That means 0.0025% of tackles resulted in injury due to the shoulder charge.
The players themselves are outraged at the decision with many taking to social media venting their frustration.
“Worst decision ever made. If u don’t like the contact sport we play .. Maybe MARBLES would be more up ur alley” James Maloney tweeted.
Canterbury centre Krisnan Inu said it best.
“What d hell, just heard d news about the shoulder charge ban. That’s wat makes our game more entertaining?”.
Why wasn’t brawling outlawed when Brett White knocked out Steve Price?
Adam Ritson was hit with a John Lomax swinging arm in the 1990’s that ended his career and changed his life forever.
Administrators didn’t do anything because they knew they couldn’t ban arm tackles. Its in the very fabric of the game we love. Its in our blood to be confrontational.
That’s why we have so many people watching our game and that’s why we are different to the other codes. By taking away the shoulder charge you take away a small, but important, part of the game we all cherish.
Lets all just wear helmets and slip on some heels. We might as well the way this game is headed.