We all know the flaw in the system and it was on show yesterday at ANZ Stadium for all to see.
Tim Browne charges into the St George Illawarra defensive line after a Josh Morris try, Dragons forward Jack De Belin hits Browne low with Tyson Frizzell coming over the top hitting the Bulldog flush in the head with a swinging arm.
Many thought Frizzell should have been given his marching orders including the Channel Nine commentary team.
Browne was unconscious for minutes before being put onto a stretcher and then the medicab.
As expected, Frizzell stayed on the field and was simply put on report. Browne on the other hand was done and the Bulldogs down to sixteen players for the rest of the match.
How is this still an issue in 2015?
Canterbury never deserved to win yesterday but why should they be penalised for Frizzell’s foul play?
Source: NZAUTV Rugby League
Earlier in the match Browne and Frizzell were involved in a heated confrontation after the Canterbury prop put a great shot on Dragons winger Eto Nabuli. It was aggression, rugby league at its best, a forward trying to inspire his team-mates. Well played Tim Browne. But he was later knocked silly because of his original aggression.
If Frizzell wanted to get square, this was not the tackle.
“It’s not the way Tyson plays,” St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor said post-match.
“If you look it at that way, that’s not the issue. He was certainly upset with the way it finished because if Jack didn’t cut the bloke in half so much then he wouldn’t have been so far forward.
“It was more a timing thing rather than an aggressive thing.”
The big question is, do we want to see rugby league without aggression?
And we’re not talking about Frizzell’s high shot here; we’re talking about Browne’s shot on Nabuli.
What would the NRL look like with eighty minutes of arm tackles and two or three man wrestles?
On Friday night, Brisbane’s Sam Thaiday and the Roosters’ Jared Waerea-Hargreaves went at it like two bulls. It was wonderful to watch. They bashed each other within the laws of the game. But a mind snap from either play could have potentially left them on the turf, much like Browne on Sunday which is all the more reason why we need to fix this problem.
At the moment we have four interchange players.
We need at least three extra substitutes that can be activated when foul play rears its ugly head. If there was such a thing, yesterday would have been less of an issue.
Frizzell could have still been sent, but at least the Bulldogs could have replaced Browne.
Let’s harness and embrace our aggressive game and still keep it even for both teams.