NRL to reference judiciary findings

The NRL will again rework its interpretation of the shoulder charge to take into account the exonerations of Issac Luke, Jorge Taufua and Aidan Guerra at the judiciary.

Luke, Taufua and Guerra all successfully challenged their grade-one citings at the judiciary on Wednesday night, spreading further confusion about the NRL’s tightening shoulder charge laws, brought in two weeks ago.

Head of football Todd Greenberg said on Thursday the NRL remained committed to its shoulder charge ban. But the issue would be on the agenda at the end of the month at a meeting of the Competition Committee.

Greenberg said the Match Review Committee “will take into consideration the decisions made by the judiciary panel last night in determining future charges”.

“We will also discuss the shoulder charge issue with the Competition Committee at the end of the month as part of our stakeholder consultation,” Greenberg said.

“But let me make it clear there will be no changes to the current rules around the shoulder charge. The NRL will continue to take a hard line against illegal shoulder charges to make the game safer.

“Naturally, we will take on board the findings of the judiciary but I think everyone agrees that we cannot allow player safety to be put at risk by shoulder charges which go wrong.”

Guerra said after his hearing, he felt there had been an “over-correction” in the rules.

“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.

“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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