We should not be at all surprised that the NRL has moved to crack down on fighting in NRL premiership matches and Origin fixtures.
The current administration is the most reactive in the game’s recent history – and I for one thought the Gallop administration would never be surpassed in that regard.
A few coaches and players, and some commentators demanded the shoulder charge be banned – and banned it was.
There was a demand for tougher penalties for James Tamou – so the NRL tacked a $20,000 fine onto a two match suspension, including Origin Two.
And on and on it goes.
The punches Paul Gallen landed on Nate Miles’s chin in Origin One was not a good look at all. But it was not the first time it happened in Origin – far from it.
Linking the incident to the “one punch can kill” campaign which is supposed to be focused on drunken brawls and behaviour probably made action inevitable.
That it took the NRL almost two weeks to do so just confirms that it is slow to react as well.
I just wish the NRL would finally react to the biggest issue the game faces today – the continued poor performance of referees, and even video referees.
Far too many great games are being spoiled by bad refereeing. The last couple of days have been no exception. That is the real issue the NRL is just not facing up to.
And the game continues to suffer because it refuses to do so.