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Bennett cries foul after Chickengate

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    BRISBANE coach Wayne Bennett last night called on the NRL to take a stand against the 'chicken wing' tackle after Melbourne prop Adam Blair was reported for the offence in the premiers' big back-to-form win at Olympic Park.

    Winger Anthony Quinn posted a hat-trick as the Storm crushed the Broncos 28-8; it was the seventh loss in eight games against Melbourne for Bennett's men.

    But the post-match focus was on a 53rd minute tackle on Brisbane replacement Michael Ennis by New Zealand international Blair. Ennis was flung to the ground by his left arm and referee Jared Maxwell had no hesitation in placing the incident on report.

    In the wake of a week of publicity surrounding Melbourne's use of the 'ripper' or 'chicken wing', Bennett said: "I think it's the tackle they've all alluded to.

    "I don't think there's much doubt about that.

    "Michael Ennis has got a pretty sore shoulder. He thought it was going to dislocate . . .
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    "What I'd like the league to do is let everyone know in no uncertain terms that the game is not going to tolerate what it's been going through for the past 12 months - until it became farcical.

    "The game is not about wrestling holds and technique, it's about tackling technique. They've got to either rub you out with suspensions or they've got to rub the tackle out

    "(Otherwise) in a month's time, everyone's going to be doing them, as happened with the grapple tackle."

    Blair hinted that Ennis had been play-acting but the hooker reckoned he knew nothing about the controversy leading up to the game.

    "I just got my arm pulled in an awkward position," Ennis said, "It all happened that quick.

    "Down here we haven't seen any papers. We've been down here a few days. I've got no idea what's been said. I got stuck in an awkward tackle, that's it."

    But Blair recalled: 'I pulled out. I didn't think there was much in it. I grab his arm and he's screaming . . . these things happen."

    Storm coach Craig Bellamy reckoned it was "ridiculous" to suggest the technique was coached - although he was happy for the judiciary to make up its mind about Blair.

    "It probably doesn't look good but, if he hadn't grabbed his arm as he went past, he would have got nothing," said Bellamy. "It was a desperation-type tackle.

    "If you think we teach our players to grab their arms in the tackle or tackle opposition's arms, that would be ridiculous," Bellamy said. "I've got no problem with the league taking a stand but we don't practise that tackle."

    Playing with the sort of precision they have lacked in the last two weeks, the Storm led 18-4 at halftime and man-of-match Billy Slater was always on hand to save the day just when the Broncos seemed to be getting back into the contest.

    A one-one-one steal by Cameron Smith was also pivotal, Bennett theorising the no-try to David Stagg in the 62nd minute was a turning point.

    Smith said attacking in numbers was the secret - before joining his coach in defending Blair.

    On report ... Melbourne's Adam Blair appears to use
    the controversial "chicken wing" tackle on
    Michael Ennis. / The Daily Telegraph

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