NRL tackles spear tackles - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL tackles spear tackles

07/08/2003 05:44:49 AM Comments (0)

Melbourne boss John Ribot has questioned the timing of the National Rugby League's crackdown on dangerous throws as the Storm and Cronulla felt the force of the tough new edict at a hectic judiciary hearing.

Melbourne's Mitchell Sargent (two matches) and Sharks Daniel Dumas (two matches) and Sam Isemonger (three matches) were all suspended for lifting tackles as the league stepped up its bid to rid the game of dangerous throws.

Cronulla forward Dale Newton (two matches) and St George Illawarra's Test five-eighth Shaun Timmins (one match) were also outed after judiciary commissioner Jim Hall laid a record 13 charges against players from last weekend's round of football, including eight for dangerous throws.

While Parramatta's David Solomona, Melbourne's Cameron Smith, St George Illawarra's Ashton Sims and South Sydney pair Frank Pritchard and Andrew Hart all accepted one-game bans for their spear tackles, Sargent and the Sharks pair opted to try their luck in front of the tribunal.

To little avail.

While Dumas had his suspension halved from four matches after his tackle was reduced from a grade three to a grade two offence, Sargent was unsuccessful in his attempt to have his offence downgraded and Isemonger was found guilty after heading to league headquarters with high hopes of escaping punishment.

NRL chief executive David Gallop, concerned at the increasing amount of dangerous throw charges being dished out this season, two weeks ago instructed Hall to administer harsher penalties.

But Ribot couldn't help but feel the Storm had been an unfortunate victim of the sudden crackdown.

"Our timing wasn't real good," Ribot said.

"(It's a) concern - it's round 19 and the season we're experiencing is fantastic, probably the best ever, (so) to go mid-season changing rules ... it's difficult. It's difficult for the players."

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