Vaseline tactic banned by the NRL

James Graham

Up until last week, as a fan, you were perhaps unaware that it was happening – but now, after the video that emerged on Youtube of Nate Myles rubbing Vaseline on James Graham, Vaseline that Graham had applied in swathes, on the back of his legs.

Now however, the NRL have told the English prop to stop coating the back of his legs in that much Vaseline, as it ‘goes against the spirit of the game’.

With questions raised about the legitimacy of applying Vaseline to the back of his legs, it is believed that it was a tactic designed to make it harder for opponents to tackle him, but also to make it more difficult for players to hold onto the ball.

Following the harmless incident of Myles rubbing the Vaseline in Graham’s face, some rival NRL clubs have come out against the application of Vaseline – saying that it should not be allowed.

Stuart Raper, the assistant referees chief, said that all officials had been powerless to act against Graham in this instance, as there was no rule against it – despite the vehement complaints from players over the course of the game.

“There’s not much we can do,” Raper said.

“The NRL make the rules, we just enforce them it is up to them to make the call.”

Nathan McGuirk, the NRL Director of Football Operations met with Bulldogs CEO Todd Greenberg to discuss the matter, and they were pleased that the issue had now been resolved.

“There is nothing in the rules regarding it, but I have spoken to Todd and we’ve come to an agreement we are both comfortable with,” McGurk said.

He said that no other club had issued a direct complaint to the NRL about the Vaseline, but said that it was commonsense to take action on it.

“James can continue putting vaseline on his legs, as can every player, but he won’t be coating it on like he has been,” he said.

“It’s a very minor matter, and something that can be quickly resolved and we believe it has been.”

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