Horror NRL tackle shows league is still lightyears behind union
If anyone needed convincing that the officiating in rugby league and rugby union are streets apart, it was shown on Friday in the NRL.
A reckless tackle by South Sydney Rabbitohs fullback Latrell Mitchel left the eye of the Sydney Roosters’ Joseph Manu already swollen shut before he had even left the field with a suspected fractured cheekbone/ eye socket.
Take a loot at the tackle:
Joseph Manu with significant concern for a fractured cheekbone/eye socket. Direct shoulder to the face clear mechanism of injury. Hate seeing these. Most common recovery time of 3-6 weeks, can extend out further if fracture complex pic.twitter.com/qTwpRVD1fX
— NRL PHYSIO (@nrlphysio) August 27, 2021
I can’t see Latrell Mitchell playing again this season. Should’ve been sent off. #nrl pic.twitter.com/aeOvnKk5WD
— Mark Gottlieb (@MarkGottlieb) August 27, 2021
It’s hard to know where to begin with this tackle; it was high, there was barely any attempt to wrap an arm and he came in with excessive force. The craziest thing about it all was that Mitchell was only shown a yellow card for the hit. He is expected to cop a hefty ban for the tackle, but it raises the question as to what would have warranted a red card in the referee’s eyes?
Tackles like this still exist in rugby union, albeit rarely as severe as this one, but it is unthinkable that a player would only be shown a yellow card in any of rugby’s top leagues. Rugby league has sought to clamp down on head contact like this in 2021 as both codes want to reduce the number of head injuries, but a yellow card in this instance shows that rugby union is still leading the way in terms of safety.