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Bring back the shoulder charge?


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The incident involving Akauola and McCarthy in Thursday's match between Warrington and Leeds has set me thinking! Why is it that attacking players are allowed to lead with the shoulder and defensive players are not? It doesn't make any sense to me.

When we banned the shoulder charge, we have led to defensive players having to go into tackles front on and risking heavy contact with the head. It seems to me that, say in the match on Thursday, it would have been far safer for McCarthy to lead with the shoulder but it would have been illegal.

I think it's time to allow the shoulder charge again but maintain punishments for high shots with the shoulder. In a shameless plug, I've written on my blog about this issue. Thoughts?

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For clear reasons, you should not strike an opponent with your head, foot, elbow, knee, fist, and - probably - hip. The object of a tackle should not be to damage your opponent with, what is effectively, a weapon. Common sense says this should also apply to the shoulder. I'm surprised it took so long to ban it, once it began to be used frequently. I'm unfortunately less surprised some want it back again. Prohibiting the use of a hard body part as a weapon should also apply to the ball carrier.

The ball carrier, at some point, will probably be leading with a head, elbow, knee, shoulder, foot or hand, as part of the process of running. They have always been tackled in the past.

Good blog, by the way.

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I always thought as a ball carrier, you used any part of your body to deter tacklers. To tackle a ball carrier you need to reverse the old saying of one up one down. For that to work though you're relying on the leg tackler of actually making sure he's falling to the ground, then your second tackler has to more or less synchronise his hit on the upper body. Possibly that might be a bit simplistic.

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The attacker is just trying to run up the pitch. It's the defensive player who initiates contact. If an attacker turns side-on to make themselves harder to tackle, it's up to the defender to choose whether or not to make contact with the attacker's shoulder.

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I think it’s nonsensical to consider penalising a ball carrier for running it in , and basically taking out the defenders role in the tackle altogether . The game to a degree has always been a game of shoulders , I’m not sure how you can change . Having everyone meeting front on at high contact will hardly eradicate injury . I thought banning the shoulder charge was throwing the baby out with the bath water , just eradicate high contact . Going even further to concentrate on the ball carrier is just a non starter , and god knows how it’ll be officiated . A defender can get his head in the wrong place and cop it . Among all these arguments on sanitising the game and clamping down  you’ve always got to remember you can only go so far , rugby league is a high speed collision sport with risks and injuries and accidents will happen . The brutality and contact is a big part of the  draw .Keep changing its nature and outlawing everything and you won’t have a rugby league that’s worth watching anyway 

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2 hours ago, DavidM said:

Are they eradicated from the game ?

I'd say we've got more head injuries than ever now, but that's because they're being treated/approached correctly.

 

I'd be in favour of bringing it back but on the proviso that it's an immediate 6 game ban if you make contact with the head. No dispute. 

 

You can do it,  but its on you to get it absolutely right

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3 hours ago, Cerulean said:

For clear reasons, you should not strike an opponent with your head, foot, elbow, knee, fist, and - probably - hip.

The hip is an interesting one. Loads of my head knocks in both codes have been to the bony bit of the hip - provably my rubbish tackling technique though 

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Always a difficult area. At the end of the Hull KR Salford game Pauli Pauli was sent off but then found not guilty by the tribunal. Lots of people thought justice was done.

And yet Jordan Abdull was concussed badly enough that even a week later he failed a head assessment test. That suggests to me that Pauli Pauli did in fact make contact with Abdull's head.

So even with the current rules players are vulnerable to head injuries. I don't think the shoulder charge will be made legal any time soon and nor should it.

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3 hours ago, Stotty said:

The attacker is just trying to run up the pitch. It's the defensive player who initiates contact. If an attacker turns side-on to make themselves harder to tackle, it's up to the defender to choose whether or not to make contact with the attacker's shoulder.

Ever heard of a 'hand off', a 'fend'?

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Definitely bring the shoulder charge back. Just punish it if it hits the head, just like you’d punish a normal tackle if it was to the head.

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The game is hard enough without bringing back the shoulder charge. Also it would see more of Baz and Tez spending all game raving about  big hits and clips of them being posted on social media when instead the game needs to be showing off the flair and skills if we want parents allowing their children playing the game in the future.

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Lets bring back Hacking, after all it was part of the game for years.

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57 minutes ago, johnmatrix said:

Attackers can shoulder charge, its never gone away

Nobody has said it has have they?

There is a call to bring it back and an opposite view that it should remain banned and attackers banned from using the shoulder as a weapon.

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Radio 5 Live: Saturday 14 April 2007

Dave Whelan "In Wigan rugby will always be king"

 

This country's wealth was created by men in overalls, it was destroyed by men in suits.

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56 minutes ago, Padge said:

Nobody has said it has have they?

There is a call to bring it back and an opposite view that it should remain banned and attackers banned from using the shoulder as a weapon.

So if attackers can shoulder charge its never gone away. 

I'm in a minority that I'd allow the defender to shoulder charge. Any attack to the head should always and still be a cardable offence. But it'll never be brought back so why bother talking about it. Long live rugba league

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8 minutes ago, johnmatrix said:

So if attackers can shoulder charge its never gone away. 

I'm in a minority that I'd allow the defender to shoulder charge. Any attack to the head should always and still be a cardable offence. But it'll never be brought back so why bother talking about it. Long live rugba league

It was taken away as a defensive tactic, it exists as an offensive tactic.

It also exists for two players running in the same direction  chasing the ball and as this is shoulder to shoulder whilst running in parallel there is no need to outlaw it.

They are three totally different scenarios, you have to accept that.

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Radio 5 Live: Saturday 14 April 2007

Dave Whelan "In Wigan rugby will always be king"

 

This country's wealth was created by men in overalls, it was destroyed by men in suits.

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