Queensland State of Origin star Valentine Holmes avoids lengthy ban for a hip drop tackle

Queensland State of Origin selectors were relieved after Cowboys centre Valentine Holmes avoided a ban for a hip drop tackle against the Wests Tigers on Friday.

On Saturday, the NRL Match Judiciary charge sheet saw Holmes issued with a Grade 1 dangerous contact offence – but he won’t miss the Origin opener for the Maroons on June 5 if he pleads guilty.

Holmes will also cop a fine of $1800 after his tackle on Isaiah Papali’i went wrong, ruling the Tigers star out of the rest of the match.

North Queensland coach Todd Payten is proudly from NSW but insists the decision to sin-bin Holmes and put him on report for a hip-drop tackle in the 42-28 win over Benji Marshall’s side was uncalled for.

He said a worse tackle by Tigers’ prop David Klemmer on Cowboys forward Kulikefu Finefuiaki, for which he was put on report, was a ‘textbook’ hip-drop despite him not being binned.

Valentine Holmes attempted this tackle on Wests forward Isaiah Papali’i late in the first half 

Holmes then collided with teammate Tom Dearden and fell onto Papali'i's legs

Holmes then collided with teammate Tom Dearden and fell onto Papali’i’s legs

Referee Belinda Sharpe deemed the incident to be a hip drop and sent Holmes to the sin bin

Referee Belinda Sharpe deemed the incident to be a hip drop and sent Holmes to the sin bin

Klemmer will miss three matches as it is his third offence. 

Holmes was binned in the 37th minute on Friday for a tackle on Tigers forward Isaiah Papali’i who left the field, not to return, with an ankle injury. 

He was later spotted in a moon boot.

Holmes is almost certain to be named on Monday in the Queensland team for the State of Origin series opener in Sydney. 

The 28-year-old has scored 13 tries in 16 appearances for the Maroons and is one of the first players picked.

‘We lose (a player) for 10 minutes and that inconsistency annoys the crap out of me and the players, members and fans,’ Payten said.

‘Every time it goes into a bunker situation, I get really nervous. I am sure the players feel the same. The sin-binning changes the complex of the game and it becomes so hard to wrestle back momentum.

‘With all the camera angles they can’t be getting that wrong, amongst other calls. It is so frustrating.’

Holmes’ tackle was reviewed by the bunker. He was accidentally landed on by Cowboys co-captain Tom Dearden while making the tackle, which may play in his favour.

‘It wasn’t a hip-drop from the start so I am gob-smacked by the bunker in that situation,’ Payten said.

‘I don’t know what a rugby league player is supposed to do when they are going for a try and a defender lunges at their legs.

‘He is going to land on their legs. I have no doubt where he is going to land, but it is not a hip-drop.’

Cowboys coach Todd Payten was left furious after Wests Tigers forward David Klemmer was placed on report for a hip drop, but not sin binned, in the same match

Cowboys coach Todd Payten was left furious after Wests Tigers forward David Klemmer was placed on report for a hip drop, but not sin binned, in the same match

Holmes faced missing out on the opening State of Origin clash if he gets suspended

Holmes faced missing out on the opening State of Origin clash if he gets suspended 

Payten highlighted the inconsistencies in sin-bin decisions and what is considered a hip-drop tackle, using Tigers prop David Klemmer as an example. Klemmer was put on report but not sent to the sin-bin. 

‘Textbook — David Klemmer in the second half — and nothing happened,’ he said.

‘The bunker has every right to interfere there and get the call right. We lose one (player) for 10 and they (don’t).

‘The inconsistency annoys the crap out of me, the players, our members and fans of the game.

‘Every time it goes into a bunker situation I get nervous, really nervous and I’m sure the players feel the same. Because the sin-binning just changes the complex of the game and it’s so hard to wrestle back momentum.

‘With all the camera angles they can’t be getting that wrong amongst other calls as well. It’s just so frustrating.’

Footy fans were also left baffled by the inconsistencies that saw Klemmer stay on the field.

‘Why wasn’t Klemmer binned for same thing, hip drop but only penalty?’ asked one.

‘We are getting in the clown stage of hip drops,’ another frustrated fan posted.

‘I walked out as soon as it was penalised …What was Val gonna do, just stand and play touch footy?  We might as well call it netball, what a joke rugby league is nowadays,’ an angry Cowboys supporter fumed.



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