‘Four weeks, it’s not enough’: Alex McKinnon slams NRL for being too lenient after Brent Naden put Jake Trbojevic’s health at risk with shocking tackle he says deserved a TWO-MONTH ban at least
Alex McKinnon has urged the NRL to dish out more severe punishments when it comes to spear tackles to prevent players from suffering the kind of life-changing injury he sustained.
McKinnon’s promising NRL career was cut short in March 2014, when he suffered a devastating spinal cord injury during a round-three match against Melbourne Storm.
He suffered fractures to his C4 and C5 vertebrae after a dangerous tackle close to half-time and was left a quadriplegic.
Alex McKinnon’s promising NRL career was cut short in 2014 when he suffered a devastating spinal cord injury that left him a quadriplegic
The issue of dangerous tackles reared its head again last week, when Wests Tigers centre Brent Naden slammed Jake Trbojevic into the ground last week during his side’s 30-4 loss to Manly.
Trbojevic was caught in a two-man tackle and Naden lifted the Sea Eagles lock’s legs and drove him into the turf. The Manly star emerged unscathed by his fate could have been far worse, while Naden became the first Tigers players to be sent off in 20 years.
Controversially, however, he received just a four-week ban, which McKinnon feels was overly lenient and suggested a ban of between eight and 10 weeks would be far more sensible.
Jake Trbojevic was lucky to avoid very serious injury in this tackle by Brent Naden
Naden became the first Wests Tigers player to be sent off in 20 years for the tackle
The Tigers centre received a four-week ban for his dangerous tackle on Trbojevic
‘They [the NRL] have to take into account the potential outcome,’ he told The Sunday Telegraph.
‘They [tackles like this] should be referred to the judiciary. Four weeks. It’s not enough.’
The 30-year-old also suggested the NRL should judge tackles such as Naden’s based on the risk of injury, rather than the outcome.
‘When a tackle is made and there is a risk of permanent injury, then the severity of the penalty should reflect on that,’ he added.
‘It shouldn’t be a post-evaluation of the injury like saying that he didn’t end up in a wheelchair so we’ll only give him four weeks.’
McKinnon insists the NRL must be more severe when handing punishment for spear tackles
McKinnon insisted a player’s reputation and intent or lack of thereof should not come into account when handing out punishment.
‘I was watching the game and I thought it was really bad,’ he said.
‘It definitely needed to be more than four weeks. Intent or lack of shouldn’t come into it.
‘Naden had a head knock a bit earlier. You could see he was still affected by it and not in control of the tackle. It’s not a question of his character. It just happened.’