The Daily Telegraph’s Booth Rothfield believes the NRL’s lack of punishment for Nelson Asofa-Solomon’s nasty elbow on young gun Joseph Sualei could leave the organization open to “major litigation”.
The Hurricanes forward was fined an “outrageous” $3,000 after pleading guilty to an elbow to the 19-year-old’s chin following the Roosters’ decisive 18-14 victory.
The NRL has implemented a wave of new measures to curb the impact of head injuries on players, but former Sharks, Panthers and Maroons prop Martin Lang believes the competition is not doing enough.
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Lang, who is currently researching brain injuries caused by contact sports, believes he may face legal action in the future for failing to protect NRL players.
“I spoke to Martin Lang yesterday, who I think is a really intelligent fellow at the NRL and who studies neuroscience and does research on brain contact sport,” Rothfield said on Big Sport Breakfast.
Rothfield said Asofa-Solomona has a long rap sheet that includes 10 convictions in the past three years and that “repeat offenders” are still getting away with it.
“It makes an interesting point that players like Nelson Asofa-Solomona are repeat offenders, who have been found guilty of foul play ten times in the last three years,” Rothfield said.
“Lang is the idea that there will be litigation at a high level, which is a legal time bomb. On the way, a good lawyer will catch a player suffering from anxiety and point there. There was no duty of care when playing football.
“The players were constantly allowed to get away with this kind of game, I don’t want to be an alarmist, but all the statistics are there, this guy, Asofa-Solomona, was fined $3,000 for his shameful shot at Suali. on the floor.
There was another incident in the missed game when Joey tackled Manu and kneed him in the head.
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Meanwhile, Storm star Cameron Munster escaped punishment for allegedly elbowing Sam Walker – along with four other players.
Rugby league reporter Brent Read Munster has been hit with a “thoughtful advert” for the time being.
“Cameron Munster issued notice over elbow spat on Sammy Walker, so it’s a bit of a worry for Cam Munster” Read Triple M.
These “atrocious playing practices” could see the NRL prosecuted according to Rothfield, who called for the “crap” to stop.
“Can someone please explain why Sam Walker got a clear-elbowed warning letter,” Rothfield said.
“I agree with Martin Lang, I’m not saying it will happen down the track, in the next year or two, but the NRL is opening itself up to legal action.
“I was covering the refereeing every week, and any player who came in with Asofa-Solomona on it would face weeks for the controversy over Suali, not face it. An unfortunate $3,000 fine.
“These are blatant acts of misconduct…the kind of bad behavior on the football field is unacceptable, there is no place in rugby league for what we saw on the field.”
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