Round 11 judiciary: One Broncos star avoids punishment but another one charged

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Questions are again being asked over the NRL’s crackdown on hip-drop tackles after Patrick Carrigan was not charged by the match review committee despite being sin-binned at a crucial stage during Brisbane’s Thursday night loss to Melbourne.

Carrigan was cleared on Friday morning but fullback Reece Walsh was slapped with a grade-one shoulder charge for his attempt to stop Storm centre Justin Olam from scoring a try in the 16th minute.

Because it’s his first offence, Walsh has avoided a suspension and faces a fine of $1000-$1500.

Carrigan was fuming after being sent to the bin during the second half of the 24-16 defeat, asking referee Todd Smith for his opinion after he had initially done nothing but the Bronco was subsequently charged after the bunker reviewed incident when Storm prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona stayed down after the tackle.

“It felt like he beat me on my outside shoulder and I was just making a tackle. I don’t think I even landed on him but the game’s trying to get it out of the game at the moment. I don’t really think it was a hip-drop. Hopefully he’s alright, the big fella came back on,” he said.

Former NSW captain Paul Gallen said “absolutely not” was the tackle a hip-drop on Channel Nine commentary after the game.

Storm legend Cameron Smith asked “what are we coming to?” as he said it was “almost his armpit” that made contact with Asofa-Solomona. “Seriously?” he wondered with bemusement.

Brisbane coach Kevin Walters thought his side had been harshly treated by the match officials.

“I’m pretty frustrated,” he said. “We came here to play football, that’s what we’ve been doing all year, and I just don’t think that we got a game of football.

“We had three guys sin binned. It’s hard to win when that happens. Were they fair sin binnings? I won’t make any comments because my contract isn’t big enough to pay the fine.”

“He (Carrigan) slid down his legs. You wouldn’t like to see that happen in a Grand Final. For someone to get sin binned for that. What the NRL want you to do now is slide down the legs and Patty did that.”

Broncos halfback Adam Reynolds was left concussed early after landing on his head while chasing a kick from Farnworth. There were initial fears that it was a much worse injury for the halfback, who reported to medics that he had no feeling in his hands and feet, and is known to have been carrying a neck complaint.

Walters confirmed that he will miss next week.

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