The NRL will move to tighten rules governing the shoulder charge this season, following continued confusion over the lack of a sanction meted out to Sydney Roosters prop Kane Evans.
Evans was penalised on the field for his monster hit on Canterbury’s Sam Kasiano but the Fijian international escaped suspension over the controversial incident.
After a week of debate over the issue, chief executive Dave Smith said on Twitter on Thursday afternoon the NRL would stiffen their approach to the shoulder charge, which was banned in November 2012.
“No place at all for the shoulder charge in the game @NRL. The rules will tighten such that if you put a hit on you’ll be on the sideline.” Smith wrote.
NRL head of football Todd Greenberg soon clarified the comments.
“We need to think clearly and carefully through that but that’s where we’re heading,” Greenberg told AAP.
“We understand there are parts of the game that are confusing for fans, particularly when you get into the details of judiciary codes and procedures.
“Where we can be unambiguous and clear, we will.”
Evans escaped censure from the NRL match review committee because his shoulder did not make contact with Kasiano’s head or neck, although he did receive an official warning.
However, if he was to deliver the same hit under the new, proposed guidelines – which it is understood will be enforced before the finals – Evans would be suspended.
The new guidelines will still require a shoulder charge to deliver a certain amount of force to the ball carrier to warrant a ban.