The NRL goes soft on footy’s lowest act
JUST WHEN IT APPEARED NRL boss Todd Greenberg and his fellow decision-makers were headed for a great start to the Rugby League season, along comes a new penalty system for players who break the rules.
Fines will replace suspensions for “minor” offences – and with that I say, “Hear, hear!”
Players will now be slugged $1500 for a raft of sins including careless high tackles, contrary conduct and detrimental conduct, which will result in a grade-one offence rather than demerit points or suspension. And they can have the fine reduced by 25 per cent if they decide to take an early guilty plea. Yep, I like it. But can anybody who has any idea about our game tell me why tripping has now been classified as a minor offence?
Tripping is the lowest act in the book. You don’t need me to highlight the perils it can pose to a player who has had his legs taken from underneath him.
Broken ankles, broken legs and any one of a dozen upper-body injuries can occur and sideline a player for the season.
A footballer who trips is making an admission that he isn’t good enough to nail an attacker any other way.
If I had a say, I’d be outing a player for the season if he’s found guilty of tripping.
I just hope Todd Greenberg acts immediately and makes sure a tripping penalty will act as a deterrent, not merely a slap in the hip pocket.