Thursday, April 3, 2014


and sadly the evidence keeps piling up.

No not referring to the fact the scumbag POS, number one suspect for the killing of Amy Farrell, whose corpse was found in the boot of her car in a supermarket carpark in Woolston, being on parole. That is just one more incomprehensible sad outcome of clear deficiency around parole and bail interpretations by cogs in the wheels of justice who are totally disconnected from the too often tragic and disastrous outcomes from their well intentioned decisions.

This post is on the decision from the judicial arm of the National Rugby League overnight, in the sad matter of the apparent totally crippling injury suffered by Alex McKinnon one week ago last Sunday.
Three Melbourne storm players performed their task and tackled McKinnon the ball carrier.
 The result, the ball carrier in Melbourne Alfred Hospital spinal unit, two surgical procedures to stabilise two fractured vertebra and now breathing unaided. Prognosis poor, irreversible damage to his function around future mobility very probable.

One Tackle in the estimated 9000 made so far in the NRL 2014 comp, however clearly the single one with the most tragic result in years. Not just tackled, not just injured, not game ending but possibly career ending and maybe will leave Alex a quadriplegic.

The tackle in sports such as Rugby Union, Rugby league and other ball carrying games has one function, to end a carry, In American Football it results in total stoppage and later resumption after the officials have ruled on where and how legal the tackle completed was judged.
In League it results in a play the ball ordered by officials and in Union the tackled player is to place the ball and play continues often with no stoppage.
The tackle is to stop a phase and success is judged on completing it, to force a new play, hopefully allowing the defence to reorganise.
Therefore the tackle can be brutal, painful, body damaging but rarely thankfully, crippling.

Much debate around the impact of the tackle collision and its clear damage to the brain, now accepted to be cumulative, leaving ex players with significant loss of brain function. That is another matter.

In the McKinnon case one of the three Storm players involved in the now tragic tackle was charged by the NRL judiciary with a dangerous tackle and after a prolonged process was found guilty and stood down for 7 weeks. The other two were not charged.
Jordan McLean who did little more or less than every one of the thousands of players involved in the games 9000 tackles in 2014,  could not bear to watch the repeated replays from 8 camera angles introduced as evidence of his alleged infringement.
Unless McLean is a psychotic thug he will be traumatised to a point where he may never play again.
That effort by the panel  will on its own make absolutely no impact on the tackle area of a game with potential to cause life changing damage to all who take the field to play every week.
One indisputable outcome in my mind is that in a decision based almost totally on their collective guilt and responsibility emotions, has elevated a tackle that would rate at the very lowest rating and would in any other outcome not have rated a hearing to one of the most severe sanctions delivered this season.
As a New Zealand part time follower of the game, that decision is no more biased and preposterous than all the simpleton based efforts when the NRL judiciary rules on indiscretions of NZ reps in the lead up to  internationals against the Kangaroos while totally ignoring the elevated violence from  state of origin games that are in reality trials and "match practice" for the Kiwis after SoO.

That emotional "must be seen to care" kneejerk reaction has done nothing for McKinnon, the game of Rugby League or the danger inherent in all contact sport and that is why in my estimation, the shambles that is the NRL judiciary has reached rock bottom and with minimal impact, they were very adjacent before this latest charade.

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