Jason Taylor has bitten his tongue over Ryan James’ slap on the wrist from the NRL judiciary, wary of causing turmoil 24 hours out from his team’s biggest game of the season to date.
Taylor would say only that the public would find it hard to understand how Gold Coast prop James was cleared to play this weekend over the tackle that broke James Tedesco’s jaw.
The Tigers will be without star fullback Tedesco for Friday’s do-or-die clash with Penrith however James will take the field against Newcastle after having his careless high tackle charge downgraded at the judiciary.
But Taylor refused to enter into a public war of words as his 10th-placed side’s season goes on the line against the seventh-placed Panthers at Pepper Stadium.
“I think it’s hard for people to rationalise that you can break somebody’s jaw with your forearm and not get suspended at all,” Taylor said.
“Teddy’s out regardless and we need to move on tomorrow night and I don’t want to be continuing to go around in the media through the next 24-48 hours. We need to get on with it.”
While some coaches have been more than happy to speak their minds in the media this year in an effort to prompt change at Rugby League Central, Taylor has kept his head down.
The Tigers lost 19-18 to the Titans at Campbelltown on Saturday but had reason to feel aggrieved after Josh Aloiai was ruled to have knocked on when replays showed the ball was stripped and the visitors scored the next set.
Taylor also wouldn’t be drawn into debate on consistency in the NRL’s punishments after St George Illawarra back-rower Tyson Frizell was rubbed out for a week for touching a referee however James is allowed to take the field after breaking Tedesco’s jaw.
“It doesn’t change anything – we can’t go back for it,” Taylor said.
“As I said after the game, that was going to be judged by the judiciary, they’ve come up with a result.
“We’re disappointed but we need to get on with what we’re doing and that’s preparing for our biggest game of the year.”