Storm stunned by tackling technique talk - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm stunned by tackling technique talk

By Steve Jancetic and Todd Balym 25/09/2007 07:24:16 PM Comments (0)

Grapple, crusher, ripper - the Melbourne Storm don't know what all the fuss is about.

The NRL premiership favourites have become embroiled in yet another furore over their tackling technique, the latest coming after Parramatta skipper Nathan Cayless suffered a torn pectoral muscle as a result of a Brett White tackle on Sunday afternoon.

Cayless had his arm wrenched behind him as White attempted to put the Kiwi prop on his back, the manoeuvre leading to claims the Storm forward was trying to rip Cayless' arm out of its socket.

But backrower Clint Newton backed his Storm teammate, Newton claiming White had done nothing wrong and that the controversy over the tackle was just an attempt to unsettle the Victorian side.

"I'm looking forward to the next one, what they come up with," Newton said of the `ripper' tackle.

"We've got no problems with our technique.

"If you're going to get penalised because you're better than other teams at wrestling, I think you open up a can of worms there.

"If anyone says that they don't vigorously try to put people on their back then they're not fair dinkum."

The Storm were seen as the pioneers of the grapple tackle and the more recent crusher tackle, where attacking players have their bodies pinned by defenders before their head is crushed under the body weight of the defender.

Both of those tackles have been outlawed by the NRL, but referees boss Robert Finch admitted whistleblower Tony Archer would be limited in how he could punish the ripper tackle in Sunday's grand final against Manly.

"It's not a grapple, it's more like work on the ground more than anything else," said Finch.

"In the course of the tackle the referee has got to adjudicate whether the tackle was complete or not when that issue arises."

Newton has a bit of basis from which he can make his claim that the Storm did nothing illegal in their wrestling on the ground.

Newton had six years with Newcastle before his tumultuous split from the club earlier this year, and said the Storm were always the best in the game at the wrestle.

"Coming from Newcastle and playing a team like Melbourne, it was always frustrating," Newton said.

"I was always filthy when I came off the field just because of the fact my play the balls were slowed down, just because of the fact they are such good wrestlers."

Storm coach Craig Bellamy put Cayless' injury, which is likely to keep him out of New Zealand's end of season tour of the northern hemisphere, down to a piece of bad luck.

"He's got him in an awkward position without a doubt, but that happens," Bellamy said.

"He's tried to turn him on his back, that's what they do out there. I'm not too sure what all the commotion's about."

The Storm treated themselves to a day of relaxation and rehabilitation at a Melbourne gym on Tuesday, prop Ben Cross putting his injured hamstring through a series of pilates exercises.

As expected, Cross was named in the starting line-up, Newton hopeful of having the burly front rower on board.

"It's great for the team ... we're definitely happy that he's going to be playing and I'm really looking forward to winding him up and watching him go," Newton said.

The Storm will have a training run on Wednesday morning followed by a fan day, before flying out for Sydney late in the afternoon.

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