The NRL judiciary has become a joke, after Tariq Sims was found guilty of a Grade 1 dangerous contact charge and will miss Origin 3.
Anyone who saw the footage can tell that Michael Morgan essentially fell into Sims’ shoulder and chest. It was not a late hit.
Morgan took the defensive line on and fell into the defender trying to tackle him. Sims did not lead with his shoulder, or swing his arm. He merely made a tackle that Morgan fell into.
There was nothing Sims could have done.
I understand play makers need to be protected but if a playmaker runs into the defence and injures himself in the process, the tackler should not be punished.
The most astonishing thing about this decision is when you compare it to last year when Billy Slater was set to miss the grand final after a shoulder charge.
It was clear that Billy was in trouble – he had obviously performed a shoulder charge and the rules are clear – and he was expecteded to miss the decider.
No one wanted him to but it was expected, so there was plenty of surprise when he got off. It was good to see him play, but at the same time he only got let off because of who he was.
Now compare it to the Sims case.
Morgan holds the ball up and takes on the defensive line, Sims attempts to tackle him and Morgan injures himself in the process. There’s less than a second between Morgan passing the ball and Sims tackling him.
But none of this really matters. Everyone knows there’s two sets of rules. Everyone knows there’s no consistency or common sense.
I’m not saying this because I’m a Blues supporter – NSW actually have more chance of winning now that David Klemmer is going to replace Sims. In a way, it’s a good thing.
But I can’t help but feel sorry for a player who did nothing wrong and is now going to miss the biggest game of his life simply because the judiciary is a joke.