Reynolds backs shoulder charge in NRL
‘Long live the shoulder charge’. Those are the words, and the actions, issuing forth from the poster boy for the controversial tackle, Canterbury rookie five-eighth Josh Reynolds.
Despite his smaller frame, Reynolds’ hits on opposition attackers have become one of the highlights of the Bulldogs’ charge up the ladder.
Reynolds was at it again in the Bulldogs’ win over North Queensland on Saturday – repeatedly rushing out of the line to put pressure on the Cowboys’ ball carriers and with effective results.
The 23-year-old, in just his second year of first grade, believes the shoulder charge remains a hit with rugby league fans and as long as it is properly policed should remain a part of the NRL.
“It hasn’t been banned and as long as you don’t come into contact with the head then I don’t see anything wrong with it,” he said.
“The fans like it and obviously you get someone like Sonny Bill Williams, who has mastered it (and will return next season), so if there isn’t any contact with the head I think it is alright.”
With Williams set to return to the NRL next year, Reynolds said it was important to maintain aspects of the game which make it unique.
Bulldogs coach Des Hasler furiously hit out at “political correctness gone mad” in the NRL in March after back-rower Frank Pritchard copped a one-week suspension for a shoulder charge on Penrith’s David Simmons that left the winger badly concussed.
Since then the shoulder charge has continued to ignite debate with calls from many quarters in the game, especially from the medical fraternity, to have it banned.
Reynolds said Hasler was yet to issue an edict on his players tackling in that manner.
“He hasn’t told us not to do it but I know I can only do it once or twice a game,” Reynolds said.
“He hasn’t pulled me up on it. He doesn’t have to say anything because I know I have to pick my time otherwise I will cop it.”© AAP 2013
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