Yesterday, Serious About Rugby League confirmed that the RFL would not be taking any action against St Helens’ prop Agnatius Paasi after his tackle on Taylan May ended the winger’s season.
Now the NRL have confirmed the same with an explanation given by Luke Patten of the competition.
“Firstly, the initial point of contact by Paasi was high on May’s hip/upper thigh,” Patten told the The Sydney Morning Herald in a statement.
“For a tackle to be considered dangerous and spearing at the legs, the Match Review Committee must see forceful contact at or around the knee of the attacking player.
“Paasi also drops to his knees at the point of contact, which we encourage players to do, and did not drop his body weight onto the back of May’s lower legs. This is one of the key indicators that we would look for in a hip drop tackle.”
This will be little consolation to Penrith fans who were up in arms about the tackle describing it as “illegal” and deserving of “a 10 week ban.”
A direct result of foul play, a season ending injury, and yet it appears @Saints1890 Ignatius Paasi gets off without punishment. What is the point of making that tackle illegal if there's no punishment? https://t.co/IGw6eXIjXD
— Matt Pritchard (@MattPNBL) February 20, 2023
Others were furious that they didn’t even get a penalty.
And no penalty? @NRL #NRL https://t.co/Rb0yOUf0qB
— 🌿 (@absurdiem) February 20, 2023
And the tackle wasn't even awarded a PENALTY!
If Ashley Klein is the best ref in the game, the game is in REALLY bad place.
— KT 🖤♥️💛💚 🏆🏆 (@KayGee4Three) February 20, 2023
Yep and that injury was caused by a no penalty cannonball tackle. Poor fella wish him well
— scott (@scott64212498) February 20, 2023
Things reached an extreme point when one fan called for a 10 week ban.
They also quite rightly pointed out concern over the grey area that is the World Club Challenge and who is in charge of bans from that game.
No matter who the player, this is just bad to see. Unsure how judiciary works for the #WCC but the @NRL need to bring in a mandatory 10 week suspension for any player who is found guilty of a cannonball tackle. The game is tough enough without that crap in the game.
— Bags of fun (@doineed2dothis) February 20, 2023
Many were not happy with former Super League referee Ashley Klein who declined the penalty.
It wasn't even a penalty and Klein maxe us play on and play the ball next to the injured player. And they say they care for the players. What a joke
— Grazmus (@GraZmus) February 20, 2023
Many fans had been up in arms about the tackle well before this news.
One of those was the always outspoken League Freak who bemoaned that it “happened a few times.”
He said on Twitter: “Illegal tackle. Wasn’t penalise. Happened a few times.”
Illegal tackle. Wasn’t penalise. Happened a few times. #PantherPride #RugbyLeague #NRL https://t.co/r0uwO9Bmnp
— League Freak (@LeagueFreak) February 19, 2023
Others described it as “a bad one.”
That’s a bad one that one. Hope nothing bad
— jimbo (@jordanjackelyse) February 19, 2023