Tim Walker’s League

Warriors’ legend Konrad Hurrell is facing a three match suspension from the NRL for essentially, exhibiting technical prowess.

In a recent game, ball in hand, running for the line, this great man did his best to fend off an opposition tackle and, as is so often the case in the game of rugby league, somebody came away with an injury.

Personally, rugby league, love the game. I reckon it must be the most physically demanding sport currently being played in New Zealand which, incidentally, is the primary reason it enamours me so: it’s rough, it’s immensely tough and sometimes, it’s even lawless. Players are always going to be facing injuries.

The fact that Hurrell was alleged to have gone into the aforementioned physical embrace raising his knees to a dangerously high level – constituting a ‘Grade Three Careless Tackle’ no less – is simply ridiculous. He was the ball carrier, for God’s sake; shit, you don’t penalise the ball carrier for improper tackling technique.

It makes absolutely no sense – especially given that a few years back, players of the comparatively soft rugby union were being taught this very technique as a means of ‘breaking a tackle’.

Admittedly in this case, not only was the tackle broken, so was Anthony Tupou’s jaw but in a sport of this nature, as the player executing the tackle, it is your job to ensure your face does not come into contact with the harder parts of your opponent and if it does, well, welcome to rugby league, buddy.

I may be a smidgen unclear on some of the finer rules of the game but the one thing of which I am certain, it is sure as hell not the job of the ball carrier to see to it that their tackler carries out his act unscathed.

Three game suspension, what a crock. Reminiscent of the week leading up to every bloody ANZAC test, when Kiwi players all throughout the NRL are handed down one week suspensions for pitiful offences to ensure the almighty Kiwi Rugby League side is conveniently depleted…



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Sean Hoppe

Photography by Joe Vagana

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