Melbourne Storm’s Jordan McLean has copped a seven-week ban for the tackle that left Alex McKinnon paralysed.
The NRL’s judiciary panel took just ten minutes to find the young prop guilty last night. McLean was the only player charged over the disastrous three-man tackle. McLean was silent as he arrived at Rugby League Headquarters for the hearing. He couldn’t bring himself to watch the video of the tackle as it was replayed for the panel time and time again from multiple angles.
McKinnon remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition with a broken neck. He also faces the possibility of permanent paraplegia. After surgery last week he remained in an induced coma until Tuesday.
Melbourne Storm chief executive Mark Evans fronted the media after the hearing, defending McLean.
“We see hundreds of tackles like that in the NRL every season,” he said. “There aren’t really any winners in this and there never were going to be and I think it’s really important this sport doesn’t lose sight of that.”
The hearing was delayed for a week out of respect to McKinnon and his family and friends.
The Melbourne Storm may challenge the suspension in the coming weeks. – Noah La’ulu
Top screenshot from NZAUTV Rugby League’s Youtube Fox Sports video.