NRL 3 years ago

Bellamy questions NRL's late crackdown

  • Bellamy questions NRL's late crackdown

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy sympathises with Willie Mason and Ben Matulino and has questioned the timing of the NRL's late-season crackdown on shoulder charges.

Manly veteran Mason was suspended for two weeks and Warriors prop Ben Matulino for three after the league last week introduced automatic bans on no-arms, shoulder tackles made with force.

Believing his rather innocuous shoulder on Souths' Tom Burgess didn't merit a ban, Mason was further aggrieved that the NRL introduced the rule change only hours before he played.

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Bellamy on Wednesday reiterated that shoulder charges were dangerous and needed to be stamped out, but he felt for Mason and Matulino.

He said Mason's tackle was nowhere near as bad as the one by Roosters forward Kane Evans on Sam Kasiano a week earlier that provoked the NRL into action.

"I can imagine he (Mason) would be, Manly would be, and the Warriors would be as well, a little bit ticked off on why it's happened this week and why it didn't happen last week," Bellamy said.

"If I was Willie Mason and Ben Matulino, I'd be a little bit frustrated as well.

"It's one thing to tighten a rule up, or a law up, throughout the season but, if the law was already there, why don't we tighten it up all the way through the season?"

Bellamy said he was just as frustrated with the fact his young prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona, was banned for a week for making dangerous contact with Lachlan Barr in Sunday's win over Gold Coast.

"He has taken the week and he certainly did the wrong thing there, but there's been that many of those tackles during the year that nothing's happened and, all of a sudden, you start getting into blokes for that sort of action," he said.

"As I say, he did the wrong thing, but I could show you tapes of when we played over in Napier of Jess Bromwich - same thing happened to him, and there's no charges.

"I'm not quite sure why after round 22 we have to tighten everything up. It should be tight all the way along or just let it go as it is all the way along.

"You need to be a bit more consistent, I reckon, but that's just my opinion."

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