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NRL pundits SLAM Taane Milne for brutal hit on Spencer Leniu as Rabbitohs winger is sent off

NRL pundits SLAM Taane Milne for brutal hit on Spencer Leniu as Gorden Tallis and Andrew Johns claim swinging tackles have been outlawed in rugby league in over 40 years: ‘Is that the WORST shot you have ever seen?’

NRL pundits slammed Taane Milne for a ‘shocking’ tackle after the Rabbitohs winger became the first player to be sent off in a finals game for 28 years for a high shot on Panthers prop Spencer Leniu.

With the Bunnies 24-12 down and 20 minutes left in the preliminary final against the reigning premiers, Leniu charged through Souths’ defence towards the try line when Milne stepped in.

But instead of attempting to tackle the Panthers forward, Milne wildly swung a left arm at him, collecting Leniu flush in the face.

Taane Milne was sent off in South Sydney’s 32-12 loss to Penrith on Saturday 

The incident sparked a brawl that momentarily threatened to escalate, before referee Ashley Klein intervened to restore some calm and send Milne off.

As the Rabbitohs winger walked back to the sheds, Leniu also made his way off the field for a head injury assessment and the two had to be separated. 

Commentating on the game for Fox League, former rugby league great Steve Roach joked Milne’s swinging blow was ‘an old-fashioned stiff arm’, but there was little sympathy for the 27-year-old elsewhere.

‘Is that the worst shot you have ever seen? That was a shocking tackle,’ Braith Anasta said on Fox League.

Milne collected Panthers prop Spencer Leniu flush in the face with a swinging arm

Milne collected Panthers prop Spencer Leniu flush in the face with a swinging arm

Leniu had to undergo a head injury assessment after being rocked by a brutal hit

Leniu had to undergo a head injury assessment after being rocked by a brutal hit

Gorden Tallis and Andrew Johns were even more blunt in their assessment, insisting tackles such as Milne’s had no place in the modern game. 

‘That tackle got outlawed in 1980,’ the former Queensland great told Fox League.

‘If he [Milne] says that he is not thinking it [about the implications of the tackle] is even worse.’

Speaking on Nine, Johns added: ‘He’s lucky he didn’t break his arm, the way he hit him […] that’s a send-off in the 1970s.’, while New South Wales boss Brad Fittler branded it ‘totally careless and reckless’. 

Milne became the first player to be sent off in a finals game for 28 years

Milne became the first player to be sent off in a finals game for 28 years 

Milne was sin-binned twice in a brutal elimination final against the Sydney Roosters two weeks ago, a badly-tempered contest which saw a total of seven yellow cards.

Speaking after the game, former Broncos great Corey Parker noted Milne’s penchant for walking a disciplinary tightrope was becoming detrimental for the Bunnies. 

‘It is an area of Taane Milne’s game he needs to eradicate, he needs to put it away, two weeks earlier he was put in the sin bin twice and here sent off,’ he said.

‘If you are playing with someone like that, it puts your team under so much pressure, off the back of that it makes it really difficult.’

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