NRL moves to stamp out grapple tackle - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL moves to stamp out grapple tackle

By Daniel Pace 09/05/2005 08:20:03 PM Comments (0)

The NRL moved to eradicate the controversial grapple tackle from the game when it issued a set of guidelines for referees to police the dangerous tactic.

NRL chief operating officer Graham Annesley met with referees coach Robert Finch and match review coordinator Greg McCallum to address the problem.

Players will still be penalised from using unnecessary contact with the head or neck when tackling an opponent.

But a key indicator will be whether there is "a second movement to make contact with the head or neck involving a jerking, twisting or pinning action".

"This is not a blitz, it's not a crackdown. It's a clarification," Annesley said.

"We'd be happy if we never ever mentioned the word grapple tackle again."

The issue reared again last week when Jason Stevens accused Melbourne hooker Cameron Smith of using a grapple tackle on the Cronulla prop, who claimed he was left "gasping for air".

McCallum and his team did not warrant the tackle serious enough for any charges to be laid.

The NRL also issued a stern reminder to the 15 clubs it would continue to adopt a "zero tolerance" approach to breaches of the interchange rule.

Annesley said there had been several minor breaches of the interchange rule this year which threatened to blow up into a major incident.

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