Shoulder and Other Charges


Copyright Renee McKay/Action Photographics
Copyright Renee McKay/Action Photographics

Short and Sweets August 26, 2013

Before you move on please read this  (Brain Matters) by Peter Fitzsmons for SMH Saturday August 24.

Can we then all jump on anyone who decides that it’s ok for any player to risk an opponent’s future heath by an action which is “risky”?

That’s the problem with shoulder charges!

The actions of both Kane Snowden and Frank Pritchard in their misdemeanors and subsequent suspensions, showed that to me again in Round 24. The chances of men on their stature contacting the head of a ball carrier are increased dramatically by getting into shoulder charge posture. The contact point is very likely to be high as both of the offending incidents were. I would suggest that any shoulder charge is in the reckless category because we all know it is more than careless. If it is an involuntary action of a player then it is the responsibility of that player and his coaches to practice his tacking in those specific situations where he is likely to repeat offend with a shoulder charge. Repetition is the way to replace its muscle memory position in his brain with a more regulation or orthodox tackle.

Those who think we are losing something from the game should include it with spear tackles, gouging, biting, squirrel-gripping, head butting and hopefully brawling and punching; soon to be forever lost and happy for them to stay that way.

Check out how many rugged and ruthless, orthodox, legal tackles there are in most games of footy that generate all the contact and excitement we lovers of the art of tackling enjoy. Skilful defenders display this so often still in today’s game as they have done down through the decades.


Let’s also remove the leg twisting that’s going on at times. I thought the sentence on Jeff Lima was soft. I think this falls into the deliberate or intentional type category. Do you think anyone can do this blight on our game by accident?


Fantastic match ups again this week and how good were some of them in round 24.

I loved the Rabbits v Dogs game to start us off on Friday night. I made comments earlier in the season about the quality of the young halves currently in NRL despite the popular myth proposed by some sections of the media and clubs. Adam Reynolds continued his great form as did John Sutton who gave way to Souths next young kid on the rise Luke Keary. We have become accustomed to the feats of Dogs’ Josh Reynolds who was again moving everything but the goal posts in an effort to make his teams fight back complete.

Likewise Sundays match in Canberra was full of great attacking footy particularly by the Eagles. And the Raiders were good for plenty of sections just not as good and not as often as the Eagles.

While Manly has earned everyone’s respect for their competitiveness and aggressive D it’s their defiance to deliver anything but the complete footy package that I love about them.

They talk it up like so many in footy today about limiting errors and repeat sets to throw everyone off the trail but look at the way they play! It’s the “full monty” of combinations, shifts, set pieces and more than almost every other team, great spontaneous reactions to each other and to what the opposition have shown in their D at every opportunity.

Did you see the first try by Jamie Lyon?

That was playing what you see spontaneously, straightening up whole the ball was in the air! Cherry-Evans may be the best half in the competition very soon, if not already and Keiran Foran is improving his awareness and feel to go with that competitiveness.

Those commodities are not mutually exclusive.  The Manly halves epitomize that every week.

To further my point about the quantity of quality halves did you catch Luke Brooks’ debut at the SCG for the Tigers at half back? How well did he go! And if you are not aware they have another with great skills and awareness in Mitchel Moses to add to Curtis Sironen.

All of these guys have much to learn and prove but the idea that we are not producing talented young halves is just not correct.

Myths are rumours repeated. Repetition of rumours is laziness or agenda driven.