Former Brisbane captain Gorden Tallis has slammed Adam Blair, describing him as “one of the dirtiest players” after his chicken wing tackle on Broncos teammate Sam Thaiday.
The ex-NRL hard man has also come out swinging at Wayne Bennett, questioning why the master coach has let Blair continue to use tactics that Tallis believes is not becoming of a Bronco.
Kiwi forward Blair is facing a one-match NRL ban after being hit with a grade one dangerous contact charge for the incident in New Zealand’s 16-0 Test loss to Australia in Newcastle last Friday.
Tallis claimed Blair’s tackle on Kangaroos forward Thaiday – a teammate at NRL club Brisbane – was not out of character for the Kiwi forward.
“I think he is one of the dirtiest players on the field and he means to do it,” the former Kangaroos and Brisbane forward said.
Tallis claimed Blair adopted similar tactics in the NRL and wondered why Bennett tolerated it, saying the master coach had never allowed it in the past.
“I don’t know why Wayne keeps letting it go because he would chastise all of his players because we always wanted to play within the rules (in the past),” he said.
“I am disappointed he (Blair) wears the Broncos jersey and plays like that.”
Asked if he would be unhappy if a club teammate had made a similar tackle on him in a rep game, Tallis said: “A teammate wouldn’t do it to you.
“If I was playing against him, if the referee did not take matters into his own hands, I would have.
“Play tough, play fair. It’s a man’s game.
“It’s tough enough without getting hit in the back and twisted and all that.”
Brisbane hooker Andrew McCullough defended Blair, saying the forward did “live on the edge” but was a prized teammate.
“That’s Gordie’s opinion. I love playing with Blairy,” he said.
“He does live on the edge close to the line.
“(But) look back at teams who have a so-called dirty player, you ask them and they will say they love playing with them even though they might get suspended every now and again.
“I am happy he is on my side.”
Even with an early guilty plea, Blair will miss Saturday’s clash against Manly at Suncorp Stadium as part of the NRL double header.
If Blair is unsuccessful fighting the charge he will miss two matches.
Prior to last weekend’s trans-Tasman Test, Blair also missed the Broncos’ 30-28 defeat by Cronulla in round nine due to a high shot on South Sydney’s Adam Reynolds.
Brisbane have until midday on Tuesday to decide what action they will take.