Pundits slam ‘dangerous’ NRL precedent set in wild tackle on Manly player that could cause severe injury or worse: ‘I’m a Warriors fan and even I was gobsmacked at that decision’
- Manly’s Rueben Garrick was hammered by Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
- Sea Eagles fullback dropped the ball expecting a penalty
- Not illegal to tackle a player mid-air when ball is bouncing
- Experts feel the controversial NRL rule should be changed
A number of footy experts have called for the NRL to review a controversial rule after Sea Eagles fullback Reuben Garrick was hammered mid-air by Warriors no.1 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad on Friday night in New Zealand.
While Nicoll-Klokstad was entitled to challenge for the loose ball after charging down a field goal attempt from Manly skipper Daly Cherry-Evans, the moment proved pivotal.
Garrick landed flat on his back and let the ball go, assuming the Warriors would be penalised.
The challenge, however, was deemed legal as NRL rules state it is not illegal to tackle a player mid-air when the ball is bouncing.
To add insult to injury, referee Todd Smith penalised Garrick for knocking on as he released the ball after hitting the turf.
A number of footy experts have called for the NRL to review a controversial rule after Sea Eagles fullback Reuben Garrick was hammered mid-air by Warriors no.1 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (pictured)
Sea Eagles coach Anthony Siebold was furious at the on-field decision and didn’t mince his words in the post game press conference
Andrew Webster’s then sealed a 29-22 victory thanks to a late try from Marata Niukore.
Sea Eagles coach Anthony Siebold didn’t mince his words in the post game press conference – and in commentary for Fox League, Greg Alexander and Andrew Voss were on the same page.
Alexander stated ‘rugby league can be cruel game’ before asking ‘the bouncing ball, you’re allowed to tackle a player mid-air, but was that dangerous?’
Voss questioned if the challenge on Garrick was in the ‘spirit of the game’.’
Fox League’s Michael Ennis conceded the referee and NRL Bunker were just following the rules.
‘To the letter of the law, it wasn’t a kick, it was a bouncing ball so therefore… we can discuss if it’s dangerous or irresponsible, but [ultimately] it’s irrelevant — it’s not in the rule book,’ he said.
Even a Warriors fan admitted he was ‘gobsmacked’ at the decision.
Sea Eagles fullback Reuben Garrick was left with a back injury following the on-field collision
Fox League’s Andrew Voss questioned if the challenge on Garrick was in the ‘spirit of the game’.
‘I was certain that Manly would have been awarded a penalty for that,’ the bemused supporter posted online.
‘It looked dangerous, it was dangerous, and it is amazing we now want refs to just make up rules on the fly.
‘Seems like a crazy precedent to set.’
The defeat effectively ended the finals hopes of the Sea Eagles, while the ever improving Warriors are likely to finish in the top four.