Warriors wing David Fusitu'a believes the NRL should change their rules around mid-air tackling, to increase the safety of the sport.
Fusitu'a, known for his trademark acrobatic leaps, where he appears to hang in the air when he jumps to claim a bomb, was in the spotlight after an ugly incident in round one.
As Fusitu'a soared to contest a kick near the Bulldogs line, his counterpart Christian Crichton took his legs out, dangerously flipping the 24-year-old almost below the horizontal.
Fusitu'a avoided serious injury — though landed awkwardly — while Crichton's action didn't even incur a penalty. The NRL's rule allows defenders to tackle attacking players in mid-air under a kick, though the reverse doesn't apply.
"It's a bit of a tough one," Fusitu'a told the Herald. "Obviously they have protection for the defensive catcher, but for the attacking catcher there is not too much of a rule where it keeps him safe as well. I feel like both sides of defence and attack should be looked after in the same way."
Fusitu'a had another heavy landing last Sunday, after being jolted in mid-air by a defender.
"I had a little bit of a knock on the weekend," said Fusitu'a. "I felt like he wasn't really going for the ball but the ref saw it differently, so you can't do much about it. When you get taken out, you have to try your best to manoeuvre yourself and fall safety."
It's no surprise that Fusitu'a is being targeted.
He's among the top two or three jumpers in the NRL — if not the best— and is a major threat. He has scored 55 tries in 82 matches, including an NRL high-23 last year. If his timing is right, and the kick is precise, Fusitu'a is almost impossible to stop.
As a key part of the Warriors arsenal, Fusitu'a won't curtail his approach, but will be wary.
"Me and 'Mooks' (Stephen Kearney) have had a few conversations about it, but at the moment it is not under our control," said Fusitu'a. "You need to play the rules as they are. Obviously I am not going to be out there taking people out, I'm going to be contesting and trying to get the ball myself."
Kearney has conveyed his own concerns to the NRL's head of football Graeme Annesley, and hopes there will be a resolution.
"Graeme has got back to us, very positively," said Kearney. "I'm confident they are on top of it."
Fusitu'a is part of a right edge that had major defensive issues last Sunday, as the Tigers scored four tries down that flank, two of them from cut-out passes close to the line.
"We were short a couple of times and that is how the game is," said Fusitu'a. "We didn't make our play and they made us pay in the end. They exploited us down that short side and made us look ordinary.
"We definitely need to be better; in the NRL you can't let your guard down anywhere. It's about communication, being alert, and always expecting them to come our way."
The magnitude of the occasion for Saturday's match against the Sea Eagles is not lost on Fusitu'a, who has friends and relatives in the Garden city.
"There will obviously be a lot of emotion around — it's definitely been a sad couple of weeks for the nation," said Fusitu'a. "At the end of the day this is just a game. There have been lives lost out there but we just want to put some smiles on some faces."