Robinson, Bennett agree on shoulder charge

Premiership-winning coaches Trent Robinson and Wayne Bennett believe rugby league is finally clear again on what constitutes a shoulder charge.


The duo welcomed the NRL’s acknowledgment that the match review committee will take heed of the judiciary findings which cleared Issac Luke, Jorge Taufua and Aidan Guerra of shoulder charges on Wednesday night.

It’s seen as an admission that the governing body went too far with its hastily-imposed crackdown on the already-banned shoulder charge, citing incidents that would never have been considered shoulder charges previously.

“They (the judiciary) got it right the other night,” Robinson said on Friday.

“The shoulder charge law has been clear since the start of the season, they have tweaked the forcefulness of it. But it still has to be a shoulder charge.

“The lines got a bit blurred last week and hopefully they will take that into consideration going forward.

“It’s not the dangerous ones we are talking about it is the minor ones.

“A couple of weeks out from the finals is probably not the right time to change the rules.”

Bennett, who goes head-to-head with Robinson in round 24’s top-of-the-table showdown at Allianz Stadium said in Brisbane: “I know what a shoulder charge is and I am not confused.

“You have to prove that the shoulder charge meets the criteria they should have been charged under.

“I thought (the judiciary findings) was a great win for the game personally, that the game can be brave enough to have a different point of view.”

Roosters forward Aidan Guerra is free to play against Brisbane after his defence counsel James McLeod successfully argued he had made a legitimate attempt to tackle Parramatta’s Peni Terepo in separating his arm from his body.

Luke’s counsel Nick Ghabar convinced the judiciary panel that his client’s clash with Johnathan Thurston was a collision but not a shoulder charge.

In Taufua’s case, Ghabar illustrated it was simply a matter of two players going hard for the ball in the in-goal and colliding, in this instance with Canberra’s Jack Wighton.