Coach Ricky Stuart is set to recommend an overhaul of the NRL’s crackdown on the shoulder charge in the wake of Canberra fullback Jack Wighton’s successful trip to the judiciary.
Wighton beat a grade two shoulder charge citation at the judiciary on Tuesday night.
The panel of Royce Ayliffe, Mal Cochrane and Sean Garlick took just five minutes to reach their verdict after a case that lasted just under an hour.
The result further muddies the waters of what constitutes a shoulder charge after Cronulla rake Michael Ennis escaped charge for a controversial hit on Melbourne pivot Blake Green.
“I would rather make a comment on it at the end of the season. It is unfair to make a comment now. We got a great result tonight,” Stuart said after being asked about widespread confusion in the playing and coaching ranks about what is a shoulder charge.
When asked if he would request a review of the rules governing the shoulder charge at season’s end, Stuart said “yes”.
Star Raiders fullback Wighton was cited over a tackle on Joel Edwards in the win over Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday.
He is now free to play in Saturday’s qualifying final against Cronulla in Canberra.
Stuart admitted the case had been a distraction for his team.
“I wanted to do some stuff with the team this afternoon and we had to postpone it,” he said.
“We haven’t had a session this week. But we will get through it. It is a challenge. It is not going to be anything but another hurdle we have to overcome.”
Wighton said he was looking forward to playing Cronulla.
It has been a long day, a rough start to the week and it is good to get it over with,” he said.
“I am just really excited about the weekend.”