NRL: Hasler asks for clear ruling on high tackles

Bulldogs back-rower Frank Pritchard was suspended following a careless high tackle on Penrith's David Simmons in round one. Photo / Getty Images
Bulldogs back-rower Frank Pritchard was suspended following a careless high tackle on Penrith's David Simmons in round one. Photo / Getty Images

Canterbury coach Des Hasler has urged the Australian Rugby League Commission to make a ruling to define what constitutes a fair tackle and dangerous contact with the head.

Hasler is still upset at the NRL judiciary's decision to suspend Bulldogs back-rower Frank Pritchard following a careless high tackle on Penrith's David Simmons in round one, but allowing Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei to escape punishment for a similar offence against Parramatta's Willie Tonga last week.

Prop Aiden (check) Tolman was cleared by the match review committee after being put on report for a high shot against the Warriors on Sunday, as was Wests Tigers' Adam Blair for an incident involving St George Illawarra's Jason Nightingale last Friday.

However, Dragons forward Jeremy Latimore was ultimately the only player charged from the game, for a high shot on Benji Marshall, an offence that the officials failed to pick on the night.

Tigers coach Tim Sheens said last week he didn't know where he stood with referees and the judiciary after Blair was the only player punished by the officials from a game that contained at least three head-high tackles that led to penalties.

Hasler said he was relieved Tolman had been cleared, but said the decision was a clear indication that referees and match review committee were not on the same page.

''(The decision) could have gone either way the way it's been going,'' Hasler said on Tuesday.

"It just goes to prove a point that there's a general lack of consistency between refereeing calls and the decisions of the match review committee.

"There seems to be a line between tackles and contact to the head and, at the end of the day, players and coaches just want some rulings or guidelines.

Hasler refused to say what he thought could be done to improve the current rulings and said the onus should be on the game's decision makers to come up with a solution.

"I'm just a coach, I don't know,'' he said.

"Ask the commission, that's their job.''

- AAP

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