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.

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