NRL set to rejig shoulder charge law again

So where does the NRL go from here with their crackdown on the shoulder charge?

The judiciary’s exoneration of Issac Luke, Jorge Taufua and Aidan Guerra over the controversial tackle has only served to muddy the waters ahead of Thursday’s opening clash of round 24 between St George Illawarra and Penrith.

The game’s governing body is expected to release a statement clarifying its position on the shoulder charge late on Thursday afternoon, just hours before the Dragons and Panthers match kicks off.

A similar move came on the morning of the opening match of round 22 two weeks ago, amid confusion over Kane Evans’ hit on Sam Kasiano.

Match review committee co-ordinator Michael Buettner moved to explain the tightened rule on Tuesday after six players were charged over incidents in round 23.

However now that the judiciary threw out the cases made against Luke, Taufua and Guerra, that approach will likely have to be re-jigged in another embarrassing episode for the NRL.

Canterbury coach Des Hasler said he didn’t think the NRL would make major changes to the law.

“I don’t expect a clarification on the shoulder charge to change any, with the arm tucked and the shoulder turned,” Hasler said on Thursday.

“And I’d imagine the NRL will take each case on its own merits.”

However, Hasler did echo the thoughts of many in the game when he said: “How did we get to this point, now we’re back at the start?”

Guerra for one was dumbfounded he was even charged.

“The fact that I was here was a bit of joke in the first place,” he said.

“When I got told I was coming I honestly thought they were joking. The fact that common sense prevailed I am happy.

“They (the NRL) are up against it, but certainly as seen by the evidence they have got it wrong this week.

“The fact that I was here showed that there is an over-correction in the rules,” Guerra told waiting media shortly after his verdict was read out.

“The game is doing the right thing by stamping out the shoulder charge and a lot of the players are behind that. But there is too much grey area and we need to get on top of that, so there are not more busy Wednesday nights here.”

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