NRL Judiciary Citings

  • Jamie Lyon Goneski’s for NSW
  • Webb and Lillyman Cleared for QLD
  • Steve Matai – time don’t fit the crime

Jamie Lyon has been charged with a dangerous throw today; a result of the agressive Manly tactics from Friday nights clash with Parramatta. Lyon has points in the bank already after an incident from the UK Super League last year – meaning even an early plea will see Lyon ousted for one week, and forcing him from the upcoming State of Origin match.

Carl Webb and Jacob Lillyman can breathe easy as the the two Cowboys big names have been cleared and are free from any penalties or suspension.

The suspension that has outraged some in the NRL community is the extremely light sentence handed to Manly hard man Steve Matai for his swing arm to the face of Parramattas Ben Smith.
Known as a physical and generally agressive player, Matai always pushes the boundaries and has a similar mentality to Justin Hodges in the way he antagonises opposition players.

In Friday’s clash with Parramatta, Manly successfully employed physical agression and bashed Parramatta into submission. Des Hasler employed the right tactics and Manly carried out instructions to the letter. When teams roll the dice and chose to employ the rough stuff, the NRL must do it’s job and enforce the correct suspension.

Steve Matai was only charged with a Grade 3 Careless High Tackle. To call this tackle careless was was the understatement of the year. Matai came in as the second tackler and cocked his arm heavily and swung it to the centre of Ben Smiths face, connecting, and breaking Smith’s nose instantly – with an instant heavy stream of claret spewing out.

The grading may have been correct had it not been the niggly Matai or the style in which the game was played. Matai is known as an overly agressive player and is considered a dirty contender by some in NRL circles, coupled with the fact that the tactics on the night were to win with physical supiriority – it all spells wreckless grading not careless.

Recently a Newcastle player, Kade Snowden was sin binned for 10 minutes for a borderline hold down against the Bulldogs. This binning heavily penalised the player and ultimately his team – being a man down for 10 minutes is a huge weight to bare.

Compare this to the Steve Matai incident.

Matai offends, Ben Smith felled, Matai on report. Ben Smith eventually returns to field, albeit in a reduced capacity. Manly win game. Steve Matai outted for one week with early plea.

For those NRL News readers that actually saw the incident, consider this – if the Matai tackle was on an Andrew Johns, Darren Lockyer or Benji Marshall; surely Matai would be getting a long, long holiday.

By ricky

2 thoughts on “”
  1. So, as we’ve learned in previous seasons, you can’t be selected by an English team in order to serve a suspension, but it appears now that you can be stuck with carry over points from an offence that occurred in England, in another season! Next they’ll be telling us that Mat Rogers can add the points he scored during his time in the (curiously named) “Super” rugby series to his existing league tally.

    This has surely got to change.
    I can’t even recall the Lyon incident off the top of my head (and I have seen the game twice on replay).

    Whatever happens, let’s hope the club fights it better than the Hopoate charge in 2005. I mean, you always knew he was going down for a looong time the moment we saw him carrying the VCR into the hearing (apparently its purpose was to show footage of the incident from a different angle, perhaps from the grassy knoll at the back of the Brooky Hill, a la JFK). You would have thought the judiciary would have had their own VCR though, or that some flunky (e.g. Peter Peters) could have carried it for him.

    What does it mean to say that Matai is an “overly agressive” player? Especially when you described him simply as “agressive” four paragraphs earlier. Did he get more agressive in that space of time? Ben Smith was falling in that tackle (not to mention that he got his own back later with a cheap shot that went unreported). Matai is an in-your-face player. To the unitiated, that means he likes to get up into the line quickly and force the attacking player into a quick decision. If someone falls into a tackle on a dewy field (a la Ben Smith on Friday) that is just a natural consequence.

    There has been a disturbing tendency in the last decade to acuse Maori or Pacific Islander players of being “overly agressive” or “dirty” just because they have speed and good defensive awareness (and I’m thinking of John Hopoate, Ruben Wiki and Matai right here). Give ’em a break. If Ben Smith hadn’t fallen it was a solid tackle at a crucial point of the game. Instead, you’re prepared to write off the character and integrity of a international player.

    When do I get my own column?


  2. Your wish has been granted.

    Welcome on board Aaron –

    Or the Professor as you will now be called.

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