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The NRL decision to ban the shoulder charge has been met with stiff opposition from the players it’s designed to protect.
Last night, angry players used Twitter to vent their frustration over the controversial ruling, after the commission reviewed a detailed report outlining the dangers and potential risk the shoulder charge poses to player safety.
League interim CEO Shane Mattiske claimed the shoulder charge was “not a significant part of the game and it’s removal is not likely to impact the way the game is played”, although responses from players and fans on Twitter strongly suggested otherwise.
@jarrydhayne_1: Shoulder charge got banned today? What’s next??” No tackling will be next.
@aaronwoods11: There’s nothing better than seeing someone get smashed by a shoulder charge. What a joke.
@jim_jim86: Worst decision ever made…BANNING THE SHOULDER CHARGE…if u don’t like the contact sport we play…maybe MARBLES would be more up Ur alley.
Former players joined the debate, with Ryan Girdler suggesting the NRL had once again neglected to consult players on decision-making in the game.
@girdlersgrind: Another rule for our poor officials to get wrong… Sounds like they didn’t consult the important people in the game again – The players!.
Sydney Roosters physician John Orchard placed the blame of the shoulder charge’s extinction on the players.
@DrJohnOrchard: If the NRL players wanted to keep the shoulder charge, they needed to ALL stop hitting others in the head. 2012 – too many of them went high.
Meanwhile, Sharks Chairman Damian Irvine expressed his concern towards doctors’ contrasting attitudes on player safety.
@damianirvine: I find it a bit rich when Docs who bend & push concussion rules weekly & needle players regularly take the high ground on shoulder charges.
The report produced for the NRL revealed that shoulder charges accounted for only 0.05 per cent of all tackles made in 2012, with Fox Sports’ Warren Smith suggesting the furore surrounding the tackle was unfounded.
@WarrenSmithFOX: 1 in every 2000 tackles made is a #shouldercharge (ARLC Study). This isn’t the massive issue that people would have you believe it is.
Popular Sea Eagles forward George Rose found humour amongst the debate – “With the banning of the shoulder charge I will now focus on backflip training and freakish try scoring training. For highlight reel purposes.”
Judging by players and fans reactions, Rose may have to make good on his promise. – Adam Kidd
Receiving a shoulder charge in the NRL – 1 in 2000
A hole in one – 1 in 5000
Odds of injury due to shaving – 1 in 6,585
Dating a supermodel – 1 in 88,000
*George Rose completing a backflip – 1 in 1,000,000
Statistics supplied by www.funny2.com/odds.htm
*Not an official statistic