Gould, Gallen fire-up over contentious Cleary shot

1 month ago 12
PR Distribution

Rugby league greats Phil Gould and Paul Gallen have gone toe-to-toe over a contentious shot by Nathan Cleary that saw the Panthers superstar narrowly avoid suspension.

While the halfback celebrated his first match back since suffering a shoulder injury in Origin Two with a 34-16 win over the Dragons on Friday night, all eyes were on Cleary's other shoulder which he used in a dubious hit on Jack Bird.

Bird was returning the ball when he met Cleary in the defensive line. The halfback dropped his shoulder into Bird's chest and didn't appear to use an arm-wrapping action in the hit.

Dragons coach Anthony Griffin questioned how the "clear-cut shoulder charge" went unpunished, and it'd only get worse for the Red V when Cleary was spared sanction by the NRL's match review committee after the game.

Cleary's hit on Bird attracted much scrutiny but the halfback was ultimately cleared. (Twitter)

The whole incident left Gallen up in arms, baffled as to why the NRL refused to slap the halfback with a suspension when similar incidents in recent weeks incurred time on the sidelines.

Gould, on the other hand, wasn't having a bar.

GOULD: How was there any force? There was no force.

GALLEN: How wasn't there force?

GOULD: He was protecting himself. The other bloke picked up the ball and ran at him and said, 'There's Cleary, I'll sort him out'.

GALLEN: That's his job.

GOULD: All Nathan Cleary did was brace himself.

GALLEN: I don't want to see Cleary suspended, I love him as a player. But if you're asking me to sit here and do my job, that was a shoulder charge. If that's Jack Hetherington, how many weeks is Jack Hetherington getting? How are you feeling at Canterbury now that Jack Hetherington is not playing, but because Nathan Cleary is a halfback and winning the competition he gets away with it.

Gus and Gal didn't pull any punches when going head-to-head over a contentious shot by Nathan Cleary. (Nine)

GOULD: They've corrected it. This might be the precedent we need for a bit of common sense.

GALLEN: The fact is, if other people are getting suspended for it, he should be suspended for it. He's smashed him and dropped the ball.

GOULD: You know as well as I do, he's not hitting anyone, he's bracing himself. And the bloke who ran at him got what he deserved. The ball spewed out and they went and scored a try…Mate, you're digging a hole"

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