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Paul Cooke claims Super League star should have been banned for 10 games

There is a lot of talk about what the future of rugby league looks like with a huge focus on protecting players.

There have been new rules trialled in academy games to do this and the disciplinary has moved against contact with the head.

However, former Hull FC and Hull KR star Paul Cooke has raised concerns for the future of the sport with the way they are treating certain tackles such as Fouad Yaha’s yellow card for Hull KR when he hit Max Jowitt hard causing a clash of heads.

“We’re in danger of when a collision occurs and somebody stays down injured we are now in real danger of not being rugby league,” Cooke said on BBC Radio Humberside.

“We’re in danger of going overboard because you can’t go swimming without getting wet. You can’t play rugby without getting injured. You can’t play rugby without some accidental contacts, whether that’s a head clash or not.

“I know rugby union have gone the other way to the nth degree where you’ve got to lower your tackle height and not clash heads. It’s a straight red card in rugby union.

“I just don’t agree with it because for over a hundred years the game has been a collision spot. Now we’re in danger of trying to penalize everything because there’s an injury to a player and I just don’t agree with that.

He explained that only intentional actions should receive huge bans claiming Josh Griffin should have had a 10 game ban:

“I mentioned this to Tony Smith at the weekend about Josh Griffin’s yellow card and then red card, and then Kai O’Donnell got six matches for a spear tackle and it’s one of the worst I’ve seen. It was a really bad tackle, a dreadful tackle.

“But what I mean by this and I spoke to Tony about it is he makes 30 tackles per game. So he makes 30 tackles per game, arguably makes about 50 in training every week so it probably makes between 50 and 100 tackles every week. You’re going to get one wrong. It’s the law of averages.

“It’s not intentional. It’s a bad tackle and it’s not intentional.

“Josh Griffin’s is intentional because he didn’t shut his mouth. If I’d have been on the panel he’d have got 10 games. I’m telling you because it’s just a no-no.

“There’s some things in rugby league which are a no-no. Don’t talk to referees with disrespect. Don’t spit at anyone. Don’t stamp on anyone. Don’t gouge anyone.

“If you do any of them things, and I take the referee one out of that, if you’re seen to do any of the other three things, you’re going to cop it on the field off one of the opposition players. He’s going to flatten you. It’s as simple as that, because then things in rugby league are a no-no.”

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