The NRL are set to come under pressure to again alter their shoulder charge laws after Issac Luke, Jorge Taufua and Aidan Guerra all escaped bans over the controversial tackle at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night.
A night that was meant to be a test of the NRL’s tightened shoulder charge interpretation turned farcical when the panel of Don McKinnon, Bob Lindner and Mal Cochrane took just 21 minutes in total to throw out the respective grade one shoulder charges against the trio.
South Sydney boss John Lee had called for the NRL to rejig its new laws prior to the hearing and was an interested onlooker during the case against Rabbitohs hooker Luke.
Lee also sat through much of the Manly winger Taufua’s case alongside former judiciary chairman Paul Conlon.
The NRL announced their intention to change the shoulder charge laws in the wake of Kane Evans’ hit on Sam Kasiano on the morning of the round 22 opener between Manly and Souths.
They may again need to do likewise before the opening match of round 24 between St George Illawarra and Penrith on Thursday.
Guerra summed up the general mood at the judiciary when he spoke after his not guilty verdict was handed down.
“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.
“That is the good thing about having the judiciary (panel) of ex-players there and that definitely worked in the footballers’ favour tonight.”
Luke will still sit out Souths’ round 24 match with Canterbury on Friday after he took the early guilty plea on a dangerous throw against the Cowboys.
Blake Ferguson was also found not guilty of a tripping charge at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night.