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Melbourne Storm forward Nelson Asofa-Solomona has found himself at the centre of controversy after he escaped with a fine for an ugly act against Sydney Roosters.
Fans were left raging after Asofa-Solomona looked to intentionally drive his elbow into the head of Roosters star Joseph Suaalii after dropping him in a heavy tackle.
The incident wasn’t noticed by the officials during the game, however, the Storm player copped a $3,000 fine following the match for the incident.
Heads, elbows, knees, just gross, knees, just gross. pic.twitter.com/f9qxp68U4z— Unfollow (@sootster) August 26, 2022
Despite the fine, the NRL have found themselves in the firing line of criticism for failing to suspend Asofa-Solomona after he has been found guilty of foul play on 10 occasions in his career and five times this season.
NRL reporter Phil Rothfield believes the NRL is opening themselves up for legal trouble if they don’t start stamping down harder on such acts.
Appearing on the Big Sports Breakfast Rothfield said: “I spoke to Martin Lang yesterday, who is a really intelligent fellow who has studied neuroscience and is conducting research into brain injuries from contact sport.
“He raised a really interesting point that the fact that players like Nelson Asofa-Solomona are repeat offenders, have been found guilty of foul play 10 times in the last three years, but keeps getting away with fines.
“Lang is of the opinion that there will be litigation on a grand scale, that it is a legal time bomb, further down the track a good lawyer will get hold of a player who is suffering from the after-effects of concussion and point out there was not a duty of care while he was playing football.
“That players were continually allowed to get away with this sort of play, I don’t want to be an alarmist but all the statistics are there, this guy, Asofa-Solomona, was fined $3,000 for the disgraceful shot on Suaalii, he was on the ground.
“There was another incident in the game he escaped, he kneed Joey Manu in the head in a tackle.”
Nelson getting busy with the knees. pic.twitter.com/9MggQVxBO3— Russell Jackson (@rustycj) August 26, 2022
There were similar incidents during the weekend’s games that saw Melbourne players escape punishment.
Cameron Munster was issued a ‘concerning act’ warning for elbowing Sam Walker in the face, but he managed to escape a fine.
Whilst Felise Kaufusi wasn’t cited for a hip-drop tackle, whereas the Roosters’ Lindsay Collins is facing a four-game ban for a similar incident.
Rothfield continued: “I agree with Martin Lang, that down the track, I am not saying it is going to happen in the next year or two years, but down the track the NRL is leaving itself open to legal action.
“I used to cover judiciary every week, and I can assure you if any player walked in with the rap-sheet Asofa-Solomona has, for the tackle he did on Suaalii … he would be facing multiple weeks on the sidelines, not a pathetic $3,000 fine.
“These are blatant acts of foul play … it is unacceptable for this c**p on a football field, there is no place in rugby league for what we saw on the field.”