Paul Cooke defends Josh Charnley after winger dodges ban despite high tackle

Paul Cooke has defended Josh Charnley following his tackle of Jake Clifford.

The tackle came in Leigh Leopards’ win over Hull FC and ruled Clifford out of the game and the Challenge Cup this week through a head injury.

Many expected Charnley to receive a ban but he only received a fine.

This was because Clifford was slipping.

Now Cooke has slammed suggestions that Charnley should be banned

“As a player, there’s no way, he can’t disappear. He can’t become invisible and just go over the top of Clifford because he slips underneath him,” Cooke said on BBC Radio Humberside.

“Rugby league is a contact sport and we’re getting into territory where every single decision on a HIA or an injury is a penalty or retrospective action afterwards.

“Collisions happen in this sport and accidents happen in this sport and then we want to punish people for an accident and I just don’t know where the game’s going with that.

“It’s a really it’s dangerous territory for me to go down the route of, just because Clifford went off the field and failed his HIA doesn’t mean Josh Charney is a massive fault.

“Yes he’s been found guilty and charged and pays a fine but the coaches wanted it that way too in terms of not as many bans so that’s why we’ve seen lots more financial penalties.

On Charnley’s defensive actions, Cooke added: “I also think he made a good decision to come up and in and if Clifford stays on his feet he may get the pass away and there’s no HIA but we’re talking about a bloke that slipped over and unfortunately he’s caught one in the head and he’s failed his HIA.

“It doesn’t help Hull FC because I was at St Helens on Friday night while Hull were playing and without Clifford it may well be a minor miracle needed because Saints are very, very good and in some very good form.