Saturday, July 28, 2012 8:00 AM
Man oh man, where to start with the stupidity of the Greg Inglis palaver that unfolded in the NRL this week?
So many idiots, so little column space.
Let’s start with the first question that went through my mind after the incident involving Rabbitohs fullback Inglis and Dragons lock Dean Young last Saturday night.
How dumb do to you have to be to begin or join a brawl with a bloke lying unconscious at the epicentre of said brawl?
Sure, you’re spitting tacks that your team mate has just copped what you believe is a cheap shot, but your first concern should always be his immediate health and wellbeing.
Now that opening question didn’t have too much time to settle in my mind – not that many of them do - for it was quickly replaced by how the heck is that not a sending off?
It was an elbow to the head.
Irrespective of what Greg Inglis was trying to achieve, the end result was an elbow, moving at extreme speed and with the momentum of a 106kg, finely tuned male athlete behind it, smashing into the left side of Dean Young’s head.
And yet, despite having two referees’ on the field, two touch judges on the side-lines and one video referee watching from on high, their course of action was to put it on report.
Can you say “cop out” … I knew you could.
Then having sat through four days of debate around whether on the shoulder charge should be outlawed, during which only the NRL doctors made any sense at all (funny that), I then spotted some comments attributed to the man charged with defending Greg Inglis at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night.
In regards to the tackle on Dean Young, South Sydney’s legal counsel Nick Ghabar stated that “Player Inglis is bracing for impact, there is no arm in the air, his feet are not off the ground and the aim of the tackle is attack the ball.”
My friends I read this and dead set fell off my chair, laughing right up to the point when I landed on my cat, who was seriously miffed about being crushed by a hysterical human with a goatee whilst simply trying to catch forty winks in the sun by the ranch slider.
NB. Baz is ok and got an extra sachet of Beef and Venison casserole by way of compensation.
Let’s break this statement down one segment at a time.
“Player Inglis is braced for impact” – most definitely agree that; Inglis was certainly braced for an impact, continue on councillor.
“There is no arm in the air” – clearly but redundant.
Inglis is being accused of a shoulder charge, not doing the Macarena in a confined space.
“His feet are not off the ground” – at this point you release this guy hasn’t even seen the tackle he’s defending.
Inglis plants his left foot and drives his body’s momentum in an upwards direction.
He was airborne at the point of impact between his elbow and Young’s head.
“And the aim of the tackle is attack the ball” – and at this point I was falling and Baz was aware this wasn’t a good day to catch some rays.
Dean Young was running with the ball in two hands in front of him at chest height.
Dean Young was not running with the ball in two hands in front of the left side of his head which is where Inglis hit him.
You can use all the legalise that you want, but the fact remains that in rugby league or rugby union, legal tackles, 99% of the time, do not render a person unconscious.
If shoulder charges remain in the game, and yes there are some excellent exponents in the game who execute the move accurately without causing loss of consciousness – Warriors forward Ben Matulino for one – then make it a short term reward/long term loss scenario.
Get right and there will be “oh’s” and “ah’s”, then the player gets up, plays the ball and the game continues.
Get is wrong and spend lots of time on the sidelines.
** As published in the Waikato Times on Saturday 28 July 2012 **
Photo: Getty Images