Cronulla centre Ben Pomeroy will miss Sunday's elimination final against Canberra after he was handed a two-match suspension by the NRL judiciary for his shoulder charge on North Queensland Cowboys star Johnathan Thurston.
The Sharks contingent of coach Shane Flanagan, football manager Darren Mooney, legal counsel Nicholas Ghabar and Pomeroy all left the marathon hearing, which lasted around four hours, without making a comment.Pomeroy was the first player tried under strict new guidelines regarding the shoulder charge, introduced last week by the ARL Commission, after his hit on Thurston in last Sunday's loss to North Queensland.
Whatever the ins and outs of this particular case this is the first case to be heard after the sudden rule change last week banning the shoulder charge when there's contact with head or neck.
Personally I don't mind the rule change. I know there's some good people out there who like the biff in the game. I'm not saying I want a namby pamby approach to our tough physical game. No I want that to continue. I think that reckless and wanton shoulder charges which contact these vulnerable areas should be banned.
I do think the timing of the change is odd though - a week before the normal season ends. I'd have thought making the change for the start of the 2013 season would have been a logical and tidy move.
I'm guessing that the powers that be are worried about being liable in the courts if a player receives a serious injury as a result of one of these tackles where the rules seem to condone the practice. Hence the urgent change.
I realise you may disagree ...