‘I don’t think we can get rid of it’: Rabbitohs stars weigh in on ‘harsh’ hip-drop tackle punishment
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South Sydney stars Jai Arrow and Junior Tatola have weighed in on the ongoing hip-drop tackle debate claiming the move will never permanently be stamped out of the game.
The hip-drop tackle and the punishment surrounding the offence have become a contentious issue over the past season in the NRL.
The league has attempted to stamp out the tackle in recent times by placing harsher sanctions on those committing the dangerous tackle.
Players such as Jackson Hastings and Haze Dunster have seen serious leg injuries as a result of the tackle.
Meanwhile, Lindsay Collins and Patrick Carrigan have copped hefty four-week bans because of the tackle, however, the NRL has been accused of taking a soft stance despite attempting to stamp out the tackle.
In spite of the calls for lengthier bans, the players themselves claim the suspensions are strict enough.
Souths second-rower Jai Arrow told SPORTbible Australia: “It’s a pretty harsh punishment, when you can sit out for four weeks it’s obviously a long time in footy and no player wants to be doing that.”
The Rabbitohs player maintained that no player was deliberately going out there to cause serious injury to another.
He continued: “Obviously, it’s an ugly tackle, but I suppose as a player you don’t go out there to purposely hip-drop someone. It’s a fatigue thing, all you’re doing is trying to bring the attacker down.
“I can personally say no one in the NRL is going out of their way to purposely hurt someone like that - it’s just one of those things that when you’re under fatigue you sort of look to the easiest option as a player to try to get the attacker down and unfortunately it can end up in ugly situations.
“It’s a tough one, but the match committee are just doing their jobs, and we understand that as a player we’ve just got to put up with that and just try to get it out of the game.”
Meanwhile, South Sydney’s George Piggins medalist Junior Tatola believes that despite the tough stance, the tackle will never permanently be removed from the game.
Tatola told SPORTbible Australia: “Some tackles you just can’t get out of it and it’s part of the game. Some of them are hard to judge.
“I don’t think we can get rid of the hip-drop, I think it’s going to be in the game forever. It’s a contact sport - it happens.
“Fatigue comes in a lot, and sometimes some players just end up falling to their legs.”
NRL personalities such as Paul Kent have blasted the NRL in recent times for not permanently banning the tackle.