Guilty as (Shoulder) Charged – Or Not

The Dr is growing increasingly fonder of this paragraph…

“Outlawing the shoulder charge is a bad decision. The sentiment is right given it is a direct response to punishing head contacts during the 2012 season. But there’s the issue right there – head contact is the problem, not shoulder charges (which are a miniscule part of the game). This is a classic misdiagnosis of the problem leading to an ineffective policy response, and will prove difficult to administer to boot! Significant controversy awaits. What constitutes a shoulder charge? That is, what part of the circumference of the body must the tackler’s arms envelope before the tackle becomes legitimate, and is therefore not a shoulder charge? Or is it sufficient to have one hand on the ball carriers’ body, or two? Can’t wait to see this! It will be a dog’s breakfast. If only the NRL would get tough on head contacts, the shoulder charge becomes a non issue … because it is a non issue. Head contact is the issue … a serious issue.”

… and was fond of it when he initially wrote it, but how appropriate is it now?

And how was this not going to happen? Just call the good Dr ‘Nostrildamus’, picking it like a nose yet again. Think we’ll have to go over the Rules Lounge again real soon.

I know, Ryan, I know ...  his head viciously attacked Billys shoulder, but let it go ...Source: The Australian

I know, Ryan, I know … his head viciously attacked Billy’s shoulder, but let it go … Source: The Australian

Segueing … how annoying is it watching a fawning, ineffective and unquestioning media lap up whatever a superstar player says without a single synapse firing in their brain? How they could remain silent while Cameron Smith was calling Slater’s and Merritt’s shoulder charges exact duplicates is beyond me.No, Cameron! Not the same, and not even close. A shoulder charge is a penalty. Head contact is something entirely different, and if Slater was knocked out in similar fashion, I’m certain you would see it that way.

Merritt put on an old style shoulder charge which was an excellent example of the now-outlawed practice. At least I think it’s outlawed … you wouldn’t know it given the preponderance of them in the first 2 rounds. Phil Gould touches upon it today, and I am in complete agreement.

Shoulder Charge

C’mon Ant, what’s the aggregate demand equation? Jibbada jabbada … Oh you’re concussed alright!
Courtesy Daily Telegraph

Slater’s tackle was all of the intentional/reckless etc definitions. Head contact like this requires 2 questions be answered, and 2 questions only …Was there head contact? If so, was it avoidable? End of story really. It’s not a shoulder charge thing. It’s a head hunting thing.

Slater should be out for 4 weeks, but the NRL doesn’t appear to have the fortitude to confront marquee players, let alone do anything serious about head shots.

As a postscript of sorts, what’s with the inability to draw and pass? Jennings is averaging one per game now, but he’s not Robinson Crusoe. Merritt’s victim on Monday night had an unmarked winger, Beau Ryan, outside him with about 3 metres of green pasture in front of him before the try line. Beau didn’t look happy, though maybe the investigation into ‘The Gazelle’ has him on edge. Word on the street has led authorities to ‘The Mousse’, a shady character pedalling hair-care products from car boots in non descript alleys in the Shire… though I’m sure he has nothing to worry about.


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