Pick on someone your own size.
That was former Penrith international Ryan Girdler’s message to Parramatta’s Pauli Pauli after his late shot on Panthers five-eighth Jamie Soward in Friday night’s 26-20 NRL loss to the Eels.
Forward Pauli, who is listed as 120kg, crunched the 93kg Penrith playmaker Soward in the back, forcing him off the ground in the second half before he returned after having a painkilling injection.
“Line up on (Sam) McKendry or line up on Nigel Plum,” said Girdler on Triple M NRL on Saturday.
“If you want to be a tough guy, take one of those guys on, but you get no result or no respect doing something like that to a playmaker running across the field, passing and then a couple of seconds later, hitting him in the back.”
Girdler, who won a comp with the Panthers in 2003, said there was a difference between what happened on Friday night with the hits Newcastle’s Beau Scott put on North Queensland’s Johnathan Thurston recently.
He believes playmakers go to the line knowing they will cop some contact but they are doing it to create an opportunity and they are fair game.
“That’s kind of what we saw with Thurston and Beau Scott and I haven’t got a problem with that at all,” he said.
“If you’re a half and you take on the line and you get a shot … one – you’re ready for it and two – that’s the choice that you make.
“We all understand that and you’re running at big blokes and they are going to whack you and that’s their job.
“But if you’re a small guy and you’re running across the field passing and not going forward into the line and then relax and then a couple of seconds later a guy weighing 115-120 kilos hits you from behind and thinks he gets a result … that for mine, is a cheap shot.”