Yesterday’s Rugby League World Cup Final had a number of talking points, including the moment Angus Crichton hit Chanel Harris-Tavita with his forearm.
That spelt the end for the stand-in Samoa hooker in his last game as he enters a break from the sport at just 23 years of age.
Crichton received a yellow card for the incident, which Samoa boss Matt Parish described as a “weak decision”, and has since received a two-match ban.
The Sydney Rooster backrow was full of remorse after the game apologising to Harris-Tavita and the Samoan community
“I want to talk to you guys because I want to get this message across, and I want to let his family know that I am genuinely sorry. I want to let the Samoa community know that I had no malice at all,” Crichton said to NRL.com.
“It was just me bracing for a tackle- and it was a freak tackle. As soon as it happened, I spoke to Chanel, and it was honestly just a reaction. I didn’t know that he was coming in and I had not malice at all.
“Whenever I play football, I never try to injure or hurt anyone. I know that I am a good person and I play the game the way it is meant to be played.
“I never wish anyone to be injured on the football field like that, especially knockouts. A few of my great mates in Jake Friend and Boyd Cordner had their careers ruined so I never want to injure anyone on the field.
“That was not my intention at all so anyone I have upset or anyone in his family or anyone in the Samoa community I am genuinely sorry.”
“I think there was but first and foremost I was worried about him. He is a great player and we are actually meant to be travelling together so there is no bad blood between me and Chanel.
“He is great friends with Nathan Cleary, and we talked after the game. He knows it was honestly a genuine freak accident. It’s all love between me and Chanel, I spoke to him and apologised.”