It’s been described as “the most disgusting tackle of the season”.
But while Wests Tigers under-20s forward Tyler Cassel accepted a four match ban over this tackle on Souths fullback Devon Makoate-Boyce we’ll leave it up to you to judge where the hit stands.
Attempting a tackle on Makoate-Boyce as he launched a kick, Cassel floored his Rabbitohs rival during their finals clash at Allianz Stadium on Friday night.
Quick to play judge, jury and executioner, The Daily Telegraph laid the boot into the young Tiger claiming he deserved a 10-week suspension.
“To be frank it doesn’t even come close to a rugby league tackle,” the Telegraph railed.
But while we’re reluctant to jump the gun ahead of the NRL, in the balance of fairness a more objective review is required.
While the tackle does deserve some scrutiny for Cassel’s shoulder contact with the young Rabbitoh’s head, the hit pales in significance next to the plethora of deliberate “crusher” and “chicken wing” holds that have marred the code this year.
Then of course, are the “throws” headed by the unfortunate tackle that crippled Newcastle forward Alex McKinnon.
However, its hard to agree with the Telegraph’s view that: “It was late, high, reckless, careless, dangerous and to top it off, it was also an illegal shoulder charge on a defenceless kicker.”
The video shows it was not late – perhaps borderline at worst – and while Cassel did leave the ground, the Tigers forward neither attacked Makoate-Boyce’s legs nor his head.
Although the Tigers copped Cassel’s suspension on the chin it is understood they are upset by the condemnation he has received in the media.
Wests Tigers’ Holden Cup Head Coach Andrew Webster said there was no intended malice in the tackle.
“He was only doing his job and putting some kick pressure on, at no stage would Tyler ever try and intentionally hurt someone, it’s unfortunate that the tackle ended up the way it did,” Webster said.
“He’s the type of kid who just wants to play hard tough football and play within the rules and never wants to let down his mates.
“He’s been given a four week suspension which means if this team gets into the Grand Final, and I stress that we still have a long way to go, he won’t get the opportunity to play alongside his mates.
“That’s very unfortunate for him but I know he’ll come back from this, and he has the full support of his teammates and the club.”
Wests Tigers Holden Cup play Brisbane Broncos at Allianz Stadium on Friday night for a place in the Preliminary Final.