Message not being heard over tackling
RUGBY LEAGUE: Thirteen days after Newcastle forward Alex McKinnon's life was tipped on its head and the rugby league world left in shock, players are still lifting and placing players in dangerous positions in tackles.
Darren Lockyer's plea before this weekend's round five matches to ban players being lifted clearly fell on deaf ears with a number of alarming tackles that the NRL's match review committee will need to take a good look at.
Banning young Melbourne forward Jordan McLean for seven weeks after finding him guilty of a lifting tackle against McKinnon should have set a precedent for any player who faces the judiciary on a similar charge. Despite the spotlight now being on dangerous tackles, Rabbitohs superstar Greg Inglis was on the end of a three-man gang tackle against the Dragons on Saturday where he was clearly lifted above the horizontal and driven into the ground.
And yesterday in Melbourne, Titans hooker Beau Falloon picked Melbourne centre Will Chambers off the ground and dumped him on his head in another ugly looking tackle that will also need to be examined.
The alarming thing about the tackle that left Inglis stunned, was that the on-field referees did not penalise it immediately. They only did so on advice from the video official.
Inglis, who was the target of some nasty lifting tackles last season, brushed the tackle aside in the euphoria of South Sydney's 26-6 win.
But those who held their breath as he was lifted and tipped will be waiting to see whether the NRL maintain the rage to put the lifting tackle in the locker with the shoulder charge and cannonball third-man tackle.
Just because Inglis was able to get up straight away and keep playing should not allow the tackle to be dismissed without an investigation.
"The league are doing all they can," Inglis said.
" It was just one of those things that happen."
They do happen, but the point is, after the tragic consequences to McKinnon, dangerous tackles have to be rubbed out of the game, and quickly.
Let's hope the message that lifting is no longer acceptable if a player is raised above the horizontal is driven home to the players and that McLean has not been hung out to dry.