The Newcastle Knights have criticised the NRL for singling out Jordan McLean, after he was handed a seven-game ban for the tackle that left Alex McKinnon seriously injured.
The Newcastle club claim that brother Jesse and Kenny Bromwich – who were the other two men involved with the three-man tackle – should also have faced a judiciary hearing over the incident which has left McKinnon in hospital with serious spinal injuries.
They have also slammed the NRL for allowing McLean to face Canterbury last weekend, whilst his disciplinary hearing had not yet been heard, after it was suspended for a week pending further inquires.
In a statement, the Knights said: “The club is disappointed only McLean was charged. His defence acknowledged the involvement of his two teammates in the tackle contributed to Alex’s injury, however they have escaped penalty.
“The club applaud the NRL’s decision to postpone the hearing while everyone focused on Alex’s recovery, however found it insensitive McLean was permitted to play before Wednesday’s hearing.
“While the club understands the length of suspension was always going to polarise opinion, the major disappointment lies in the grave inconsistencies of gradings, especially in comparison to recent cases.
“The club agrees there are no winners in this matter and will continue to lobby the NRL to drive change so there isn’t a reoccurrence of this devastating event.”