NRL admits Sims got off lightly

The NRL hopes these tackles are eliminated before the finals. Picture; Matt King/Getty Images

NRL head of football Graham Annesley says Tariq Sims should have been sent off for the high tackle that knocked Cronulla’s Connor Tracey out in the local derby on Saturday night.

Sims was only sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes for the ugly shot that left him visibly distraught on the field.

The veteran was hit with a grade three careless high tackle charge and accepted a four-game ban which means his career at the Red V is over.

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“My personal view is that it should’ve been a send off,” Annesley said.

“Obviously, referees have got options in terms of the action they can take on the field.

“I’ve spoken on many occasions about the differences in the process where it’s a very quick decision on the field by match officials and a much more deliberate and intensive examination of the facts that the match review committee takes in reaching what charges may be laid as a result of an incident.

“My opinion is he should have been sent from the field.”

The Sims incident is the latest in a long list of foul play that has seen big names like Nathan Cleary, Tom Burgess and David Klemmer sent off in recent weeks, while many others have been sent to the sin bin.

Nathan Cleary won’t play until the finals after his spear tackle on Dylan Brown. Picture; NRL Photos
Nathan Cleary won’t play until the finals after his spear tackle on Dylan Brown. Picture; NRL Photos

Annesley said he had noticed the spike but was confident things would level out leading into the finals.

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“I’d prefer it wasn’t happening, but we are reaching a very intense period as teams jockey for positions in the eight and to make the eight,” he said.

“That’s no excuse because everyone is required to play the game with a duty of care that we expect to ensure the game is played as safely as possible.

“What we would hope to see is that players are aware of that and they modify their approach and technique to ensure that players don’t get injured outside the laws of the game.

“I am concerned when we see those things spike, but the one thing I do know is they do tend to spike and then they do tend to flatten out again.”

Annesley also praised the Bunker for a couple of clutch calls from Parramatta’s win over Manly but bemoaned two dodgy decisions from Sunday’s game in Bundaberg.

The first was the decision on the field to disallow a try to North Queensland’s Murray Taulagi that brushed the shoulder of Valentine Holmes.

The Bunker had the chance to overturn it but didn’t, with Annesley pointing out that the ball coming off a player’s shoulder does not constitute a knock-on.

“I don’t believe it hits the upper arm at all,” he said.

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“I think it goes straight across the shoulder and straight out to Taulagi. It should have been awarded a try.”

That call saved the Bulldogs from conceding six points, but Annesley says they were then on the wrong end moments later when Luciano Leilua was awarded a try even though it was a double movement that was missed by the Bunker.

Luciano Leilua should not have been awarded this try. Picture; Albert Perez/Getty Images
Luciano Leilua should not have been awarded this try. Picture; Albert Perez/Getty Images

“There are clearly defenders that have hold of him,” he said.

“The arm carrying the ball hits the ground, he rolls onto his back and then he moves the ball. He then promotes it over his head and places the ball across the goal line.

“If he doesn’t reach out over his head, I don’t believe he gets the ball to the line.”

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