O'Donnell relieved to be away from NRL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

O'Donnell relieved to be away from NRL

By Ian Laybourn, 02/03/2011 06:03:31 PM Comments (0)

Former North Queensland and NSW enforcer Luke O'Donnell is glad to see the back of the NRL judiciary as he gets to grips with life in the Super League with Huddersfield.

O'Donnell left the Cowboys as the most suspended player in NRL history, spending a total of 29 weeks on the sidelines since 2000.

The last of his 10 bans was for a dangerous throw on Queensland winger Darius Boyd during the second State of Origin clash in Sydney last year that sparked an all-in brawl.

The former Test star admits his disillusionment with the judiciary system was part of the reason for his decision to start afresh in the bitterly cold Yorkshire winter.

"The way the system works in Australia is very harsh if you've had a couple of penalties," he said.

"It's a loading system and it's crazy how it works. You can be charged with a careless high tackle three years before and then charged with a dangerous throw which is something completely different and you cop a loading. It's pretty silly.

"I didn't enjoy my footy at times because of all the suspensions and it was really disappointing considering I work so hard and then come game time you feel like you have a target on your head.

"It's good just to get away from pressures like that. Everything is scrutinised so heavily over there."

O'Donnell, who left behind him temperatures of 33 degrees in Townsville in November and had to cope with minus 13 on arrival in Yorkshire.

And he admits he is still getting to grips with the difficult playing conditions.

"At Castleford it was probably the heaviest pitch I've ever played on in my life," he said of Huddersfield's second-round match against the Tigers which they lost 18-12," he said.

"I've played on some muddy pitches in Australia but that was really tough going. It's something I'm going to have to get used to in the first couple of months over here.

"The boys said that's usually the way. At first you play a fair bit of wet-weather footy and then it dries up and speeds up a lot more. I've all that to look forward to."

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