NRL's late hit rule a grey area: Anasta - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL's late hit rule a grey area: Anasta

By Samantha Broun 09/04/2009 05:03:20 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters captain Braith Anasta believes the rising number of penalties awarded for "late" hits on a kicker is encouraging NRL teams to milk the penalty.

Anasta says the current interpretation by referees on what constitutes a late hit is becoming an increasingly grey area, making it almost impossible for sides to defend a kick.

With the Roosters faced with trying to shut down the dangerous boot of Brisbane's master five-eighth Darren Lockyer on at the SFS on Friday night, Anasta said his side would have to take their chances in defence.

"You've just not got to worry about it. You know if the referees penalise you, they penalise you. No-one's going into tackles with intent or trying to stop anyone on purpose," Anasta said on Thursday.

"We do it every day at training. We try and defend our kicks the best as possible.

"You hope there's no penalties, but it's getting to the stage now that you can't really touch anyone. It's getting a bit hard."

Anasta, who's been on the receiving end of countless hits after putting up a kick, said he's noticed increasingly tough calls on fair defence.

"If someone deliberately takes you out, it's a penalty," the Blues five-eighth said.

"But a few of those (penalties), they're committed (to the tackle) and they can't get out of it, so I'm not a fan of that ... it's nearly impossible to pull out of a tackle."

The former Bulldogs star he was dubious about putting the onus on a kicker to bounce back up after a fair hit so as not to force the referee's whistle.

"I don't know, it's getting into a tough precedent. You're in a semi-final if some bloke hits you late, you're more than likely," he said with a grin.

"I don't know I don't want to go there.

"It's a bit of a grey area. You know, players can stay down and probably get a penalty so you don't want to get to that stage.

"It does encourage (milking a penalty) a bit, I wouldn't encourage it.

"It's a touchy rule. There's no way really to adapt to it, you just keep training the way that we are and defending the kicks and try not to hit the player deliberately."

Anasta said the Roosters would be focusing on trying to shut down Brisbane's Test winger Israel Folau and stop him from being on the receiving end of a Lockyer bomb.

"Give him less opportunities as possible, he's a force to be reckoned with and we've got to give him limited time with the ball in his hands," Anasta said.

"He's the highest jumper in the game, so you've just got to try to protect your catches."

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