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The NRL's Magic Round saw a massive crackdown on high tackles with multiple players being sent off across the jam-packed weekend of action.
But perhaps the worst incident came during the Melbourne Storm's clash with the St George Illawarra Dragons which resulted in Ryan Papenhuyzen being stretchered off the field.
Dragons star Tyrell Fuimaono is now expected to cop a lengthy ban after his high shot on Papenhuyzen left the Storm fullback in a bad way.
Just as Papenhuyzen released a cut-out pass for Josh Addo-Carr to score the opening try, he was hit with a late tackle from Fuimaono.
The shot crumbled Papenhuyzen, who lay motionless on the Suncorp Stadium turf before being attended to by medical staff.
But as replays were shown on the big screen within the arena, everyone quickly realised the severity of the incident.
Papenhuyzen had been absolutely clocked with a high tackle to the head from Fuimaono and referee Peter Gough wasted no time in taking action against the Dragons centre who was subsequently sent to the bin for his actions.
"Ryan Papenhuyzen lets go and Tyrell Fuimaono comes in over the top and collects him," Phil Gould said in the Nine commentary box.
"Papenhuyzen hasn't moved, he's on the ground. This is not a good look.
"The Storm could well lose their most dynamic attacking player.
"You'd think they would've seen enough football over the weekend to know.
"It is incomprehensible to think a player would come up with a hit like that at this stage of the weekend after everything we've seen. On any weekend that was a send-off."
It's understood Papenhuyzen was heavily concussed but wasn't rushed to hospital.
As for the Dragons, Fuimaono's dismissal meant they were actually reduced to 11 men.
Just a matter of minutes earlier, forward Josh McGuire was sent to the sin bin for a similar high tackle - this time on Justin Olam.
Josh McGuire the latest to fall foul of the new strict rule enforcement.
#9WWOS #NRL #MagicRound pic.twitter.com/5pmJrptbIV
- NRL on Nine (@NRLonNine) May 16, 2021
There were countless sin-binnings during the NRL's Magic Round with officials clearly on the front foot to clamp down on high shots.
But despite calls from experts and even the players themselves for the NRL to loosen up, CEO Andrew Abdo says he "make no apologies" for the strict implementation of the rules.
"This is an intense, physical game and we're talking about taking the responsible leadership position of eliminating the damage that can be done [by] dangerous head-high shots. I make no apologies for that and I absolutely believe that the decision the commission has made and the way it's being implemented is right," Abdo said on Nine's The Sunday Footy Show.
"But I'll also say, what do we know about our coaches and our teams? They're professional, they evolve, there's a learning curve. They'll adapt and the teams that adapt quicker than others will have a competitive advantage."
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