Matai technique fine, says Hasler - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Matai technique fine, says Hasler

19/05/2010 07:26:15 PM Comments (0)

Manly coach Des Hasler has defended Steve Matai's tackling technique after the Kiwi centre was banned for two separate high shots in Monday night's NRL loss to Parramatta.

Matai will miss three NRL matches after entering early guilty pleas to grade five and grade one careless high tackle charges.

The New Zealand Test hitman has a long history with the NRL match review committee, with five high tackle charges since 2005.

He was found not guilty of one at the judiciary and has served a total of five games in suspensions for high tackles.

But that doesn't include the two-game ban he copped after being sent-off for a sickening shot on Kangaroos centre Mark Gasnier in a Test in 2007.

Matai has also faced charges of contrary conduct - for which he was found not guilty - and dangerous contact, making a total of nine charges in the past five years.

"His defence this year has been outstanding and I just think it was a timing issue and a bit of technique," Hasler told AAP on Wednesday night.

"Players are constantly working on technique.

"You've got to understand it was a careless charge so it was just a bit mis-timed."

The Kiwi centre copped the grade five charge for an ugly first-half shot on Eels debutant Tom Humble.

The grade one sanction related to a second-half tackle on Test star Jarryd Hayne.

"Part of Steve's game is intimidating defence," Hasler said.

"Steve hasn't been up on a high charge since (2008).

"There's always risks of tackles going wrong.

"The tackle's graded as careless, not reckless.

"It's just because he's an aggressive, in-your-face defender and that's what we need to be careful we don't over-react to."

Matai's poor disciplinary record caused former judiciary panellist, Manly star and Kiwi international Darrell Williams to warn him he needs to change his aggressive tackling style.

"I'm not surprised he's been charged," Williams told the Manly Daily.

"He's got a very aggressive tackling style which carries an element of risk.

"He needs to address it ... it's a work in progress.

"He's a good enough player to get it sorted.

"He's an integral part of the team. Those tackles he makes do motivate the team when they come off."

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