This is just ridiculous’
Dragon Blake Lawrie.
Greats unanimous in calling for ‘awful’ hip-drop tackle to be outlawed
MELBOURNE Storm forward Max King has ignited another ugly tackling controversy on the eve of the finals.
League greats Brad Fittler, Andrew Johns and Greg Alexander are outraged over a nasty hip drop tackle that left experienced commentator Andrew Voss livid.
“Who wants young kids learning that tackle?” Voss asked Fox League viewers during Sunday’s broadcast.
Fittler labelled the tackle by King on St George Illawarra’s Blake Lawrie “awful”, while Alexander said it was “intent to injure”.
But Storm coach Craig Bellamy vehemently defended King’s actions immediately after the match.
When told of Alexander’s comments, Bellamy said: “That’s ridiculous. That is ridiculous. I would be very disappointed if any player in the competition goes out to intentionally injure an opposition player. That’s ridiculous.”
The Storm aren’t the only ones who have been guilty of using the tackle this year, and players from several teams have landed in strife.
The tackle forced a hobbling Lawrie to immediately leave the field.
“That is awful,” Fittler told Channel 9. “You know, they keep trying to get these things out of the game. This is just ridiculous doing that.
“My God. What are we going to start dealing with next? That is just awful.
“I hate it.”
Alexander said on Fox League: “That is the example of what we don’t want in the game.
“That incident in itself is worthy of 10 minutes in the bin. That is foul play. That is obvious foul play. He will leave the field. That will be the end of Blake Lawrie.”
But while NRL head of football Graham Annesley suggested recently the hipdrop tackle was “nothing new”, Alexander and Voss disagreed.
Voss said: “What I am saying here is if the authorities really believe this is a tackle that has crept into the game, well, I hope they have learned from experience where we allowed some wrestling techniques and only gave players a slap on the wrist.
“If you really want to stamp it out of the game then put two to four weeks on it to rub it completely out.”
Voss also asked Alexander if he had seen it previously, given he had been in the “game for decades”.
Alexander responded: “It started this year.”
Voss said: “Who wants young kids learning that tackle? Dads, mums, watching right now on Fox League. Do you want your kids involved in a tackle like that? Is that good technique?”
The tackle is when a player drops his body weight on the back of a player’s legs or feet.
NRL Physio Brien Seeney said on social media when Lawrie left the field he was concerned about a syndesmosis or MCL injury: “Once again, variation of the hip-drop tackle in practice. Nasty technique.”