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SBD Global/April 17, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

National Rugby League Rules Out Banning Lifting Tackles But Puts Players On Notice

The National Rugby League has "fallen short of banning lifting tackles, but warned any player involved in a dangerous tackle from this weekend risked being charged under the latest reform to player safety," according to Daniel Lane of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. NRL Head of Football Todd Greenberg said that after being "unhappy" that numerous tackles had "escaped punishment in the opening six rounds of the season, the match review panel had been instructed to charge -- 'irrelevent of the outcome' -- players who placed a ball-carrier in a position where his head or neck could come in contact with the ground." Greenberg warned that any defender "involved in a dangerous tackle, regardless of whether they were the first, second or third man in," also risked being charged, even if their opponent escaped injury (SMH, 4/16). In Melbourne, Roy Ward reported the NRL made the announcement on Wednesday after "previous interpretations allowed players to escape charges if the tackled player could move into position to land safely." Newcastle player Alex McKinnon suffered two broken vertebrae in his neck after being "lifted in a tackle against Melbourne Storm this season and since then several lifted tackles have not resulted in charges due to the 'safe landing' interpretation" (THE AGE, 4/16).
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