Canterbury coach Des Hasler was happy with the decision not to send off St George Illawarra forward Tyson Frizell for a high shot on Tim Browne in the Dragons’ 31-6 win at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.
But the two-time premiership winner joined the growing chorus of voices within the NRL calling for changes to be made to the interchange rules to accommodate the new concussion laws.
Browne was knocked out by a swinging arm from Frizell in the 50th minute of the round six clash before 20,273 fans.
The Canterbury prop did not return to the field and many considered Frizell lucky to still be on it after Ben Cummins elected to put the incident on report, rather than send off the Dragons backrower.
Play had been stopped for eight minutes to attend to Browne and put him on a medicab.
Hasler said he expected the tackle to come under the scrutiny of the match review committee on Monday, but he was comfortable with Cummins’ actions.
“Probably not,” Hasler said when asked if he felt Frizell should have been marched.
“He was probably second man in on the tackle if I can recall.
“The tackle was on report, let’s hope the match review committee don’t miss it and they will deal with it accordingly.
“It raises the point, there has been a lot of talk about concussion, there has been a lot of talk about interchange, if they are going to drop it to eight or to six, whatever number they drop it to, the impact of something like today I will be interested what they come up with.
“They are going to have to give it some consideration.”
The NRL is considering reducing the 10-man interchange rule and the possibility of an 18th man as a substitute for concussed players.
Dragons coach Paul McGregor leapt to the defence of Frizell after the joint venture secured their fourth successive win.
“I honestly thought the initial contact of Jack de Belin cut the bloke in half and that was obviously when it was going down and Tyson mistimed it,” McGregor said.
“He (Tyson) didn’t like what he saw, that isn’t the way he plays, he was upset the way it ended up.
“It was a timing thing more than an aggressive thing.”
The Dragons turnaround in the past month is one of the big talking points out of round six.
After a dismal effort over the opening two games, in which they recorded just two tries, the lowest points scored since the Dogs managed just a solitary penalty goal in their first two games in 2000, the Dragons have surged up the ladder to sit in fourth.
A Ben Hunt try in golden point gave top-of-the-table Brisbane their fifth successive win on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium, 22-18 over sixth-placed Sydney Roosters.
Cronulla made it two in a row with a 22-6 defeat of fifth-placed Newcastle at Remondis Stadium.
James Roberts scored a treble in Gold Coast’s upset 38-16 away win over Parramatta on Saturday afternoon.
Manu Vatuvei scored his 140th NRL try in the Warriors’ 32-22 win over eight-placed Wests Tigers in Auckland on Saturday.
Penrith snapped a three-game losing streak to beat bottom-of-the-table Manly 22-12.
Melbourne accounted for Canberra 14-10 in the nation’s capital on Sunday afternoon, with Monday night’s clash between South Sydney and North Queensland concluding the round.