Queensland have reacted furiously after NSW pivot Josh Reynolds was let off without a ban for his controversial tackle on Brent Tate.
Queensland are furious after the NRL judiciary ruled NSW five-eighth Josh Reynolds won’t serve any ban for his controversial tackle on Maroons winger Brent Tate in Wednesday’s Origin opener.
The backlash north of the Tweed was palpable on Friday, the morning after judiciary panel members Sean Garlick, Mick Vella and Paul Whatuira took under 10 minutes to decide Reynolds’ fate and downgrade his grade two dangerous throw charge.
Reynolds was hit with 93 penalty points after his early guilty plea which means he won’t even sit out an NRL game, with 100 points equalling a one-match ban.
Newcastle back-rower Beau Scott also escaped without a stint on the sidelines for his role in first half tackle on Tate in NSW’s 12-8 win.
The decision has left the NRL’s crackdown on lifting tackles in tatters and the Queensland camp reacted with fury and confusion.
Back-rower Ben Te’o labelled the first half tackle on Tate, who has struggled with neck injuries through his career as “crazy”.
Queensland Rugby League managing director Rob Moore expressing his bewilderment at the decision, while Tate’s NRL coach North Queensland mentor and former Queensland halfback Paul Green attacked the consistency of the NRL’s match review panel and judiciary.
From the Maroons bench Te’o had front row seats to the incident.
“Sitting there on the sideline that was crazy, he picked him up, flipped him … I can’t believe that he got off,” Te’o told AAP.
“The message that it sends is that you can flip someone and not miss a week.
“We have talked about player safety and what happens if Tatey lands on his neck?
“What is to stop someone else flipping someone now, there is no deterrent there.
“For the dangerous position he put Tatey in there and for him not to miss an Origin or anything I think it is crazy.”
Te’o said he was happy Tate was fine but attacked Reynolds’ intent in making the tackle.
“When I saw it I just thought to myself ‘Oh he is gone, he is going to get some weeks for that because that was very, very dangerous,” Te’o said.
“I don’t think he had too much concern for Tatey’s well being the way he lifted him and let him go.
“He didn’t really have concern about where he was going to land and that is the dangerous thing when you lift someone and let them go like that, who knows where they are going to land.
“The best thing is that Tatey was OK.”
Moore’s statement read: “We fully understand the current backlash from both well respected judges and in particular Maroons supporters.
“The QRL believe the initial finding from the NRL Match Committee was correct and consistent with similar tackles in the game at present.
“However, we accept there is a process for all of these controversial matters. Whilst we don’t agree with the final outcome, we will accept the decision.”
Reynolds initially faced a two-game ban which would have ruled him out of Origin II.
Green questioned the game’s credibility.
“Given that the guys involved in that tackle in the Origin game don’t even miss a game, it’s just a joke,” Green said.
“The NRL want to make the game as safe as possible but then this happens, they take a couple of steps backwards in terms of the credibility of the judiciary system.”