Fittler's question to NRL in wake of Latrell charge

3 weeks ago 17
PR Distribution

Rugby league great Brad Fittler has questioned whether the seriousness of an injury should be factored into the charges laid on dangerous tackles.

Fittler's query comes after Storm star Brandon Smith was placed on report for a high shot on Marata Niukore during Melbourne's loss to the Eels last night.

There are fears Niukore may have suffered a jaw injury, which remains to be confirmed.

But in the wake of Rabbitohs star Latrell Mitchell's high shot on Joey Manu, which left the Rooster with a depressed facial fracture, Fittler questioned whether Smith's incident should be put "in the same category" as the South Sydney fullback's charge based on the injury side of things.

Mitchell is currently staring at a season-ending 6-9 week ban

'Latrell out for the year': Gus

"So tonight, Brandon Smith comes across and hits Marata Niukore high," Fittler said on Nine's Saturday Night Footy post-show.

"You see, Niukore was hit with more than just a slap in the nose and he's lying down.

"Nothing like the contact of Latrell's [hit on Manu] and how dramatic that was.

"They're now saying Niukore has a jaw problem... so do we put Brandon Smith in the same category because there's an injury?

"It's very hard to judge incidents once there is a big injury, and Joey Many's was a big injury. If Niukore's jaw is fractured, he's out for the rest of the season. What happens?"

NRL Highlights: The Eels upset the Storm in a thriller! - Round 24

While Fittler said the "human nature side of you" might allow the seriousness of the injury to be factored into the punishment, Parramatta great Peter Sterling said he wasn't in favour of that argument.

"I've never liked to take that into account, but I understand," Sterling replied.

"My initial reaction is, sometimes you get a really serious injury from something fairly innocuous."

For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!

Read Entire Article