Gallen: Late ‘dog shot’ hits should be sin binned
SHARKS skipper Paul Gallen has urged the NRL to double its suspensions for the controversial 'dog shot' tackle, saying of the late hit on playmakers: "It's as bad as a shoulder charge".
The issue of protecting rugby league's biggest names is again in the spotlight after Brisbane enforcer Tevita Pangai Jnr whacked Roosters star Cooper Cronk late, and off the ball, in their Thursday night clash
While Pangai received a Grade 2 Dangerous Contact charge, and will likely miss two weeks, both Gallen and former Parramatta great Peter Sterling want harsher penalties introduced.
Gallen said he had been arguing since 2012 for increased penalties for what eighth Immortal Andrew Johns calls the 'Coward Tackle'.
Currently, the illegal hit falls under 'Dangerous Contact', where the gradings are 100, 200 and 300 points.
For a shoulder charge meanwhile, the starting point for a Grade 1 is 200 points, then 350 points and 500 points.
"I think it's as bad as a shoulder charge," Gallen said of the Pangai tackle. "And it should be treated like a shoulder charge.
"The only reason he gets two weeks is because he's got priors and he's got loading. That would've only been a week if he had a clean sheet.
"I've been talking about this since 2012. You can't do it.
"Defensively we're all trained to pressure the ballplayer as much as possible. But we aren't told to hit him late."
Gallen described the Pangai hit as "a bad one", continuing: "Halfbacks shouldn't be allowed play in a dinner suit.
"If they're going right into the line, simultaneous contact (as they're passing the football) is fine.
"They expect to get hit.
"You ask Cooper Cronk, he expects to get hit.
"And you see with that tackle, you see Cronk when he goes to the line, he actually braces a little bit. He braces for a split second and then relaxes … and when he relaxes is when he gets hits.
"The whiplash that he cops there, it's so dangerous."
Sterling argued the tackle should be an automatic sin binning, as referees are allowed to do following slight changes to the rule book in 2017.
"The worst part is, this is an annual conversation," Sterling said. "This isn't the first time this has been raised.
"It's a sin binning.
"To me it's obvious a charge is going to be involved (from the tackle) so the team playing against the side in this instance should get some benefit. Not just sides down the track.
"It's a sin binning, then you get an extended stint on the sideline."
NSW Origin coach Brad Fittler agreed the Pangai hit "deserved two or three weeks", but warned against blanket suspensions for the shot.
"There needs to be levels," Fittler said. "Because there's a point you can pull out and there's a point you know where it's touch and go.
"The one on the weekend, it was too late.
"And it deserved two or three weeks no doubt."