All views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the site.
Injuries are unfortunately becoming too much of a commonplace in rugby league and itís time that the RFL took a long hard look at how to prevent them. Now I understand that wear and tear is all a part of our game, but you only have to look at the likes of Steve Menzies and Keith Senior to realise that people can have a long career in the game. But then you look at players whoíve had their careers cut short because the opposition deliberately targets a weakness.
Iím sorry but if the best way to beat an opposing team is to injure their star players then this game isnít going in the right direction at all. We might as well start introducing crash helmets now so that high tackles can become legal in our game. Maybe we could go one step further and kit our players out like American football stars. Itís certainly the direction weíre heading in unless some drastic action gets taken across the game.
I know from personal experience that injuries do come about from people targeting vulnerable areas. I could take tackles all day and Iíd feel fine afterwards. But my first serious injury came about from a prank gone wrong. Someone kneeled behind the back of my knee whilst another person viciously pushed me down and the result was a torn ligament. My knee hasnít been right since and Iíve had several injuries to the same knee. The worse of the injuries came during training when I had someoneís shoulder directly at the side of my knee. It wasnít deliberate Ė we just had a terrible PE teacher and I was unlucky to be partnered with someone whoís never played the game in his life.
Less of the self-pity, I think that they needs to be a whole new attitude to the game. If someone is coming back from injury then other players should go easy on them and go for the tackles that will take the players down without any damage. Players who come back should go easy also so that both sides of the party are being fair. We should be a sport that prides our self on sporting ability rather than bone wrecking ability. Some rugby league tackles have been described as hard as two cars colliding. Players do seem to come out fine from these tackles week after week and this shall remain a part of our game. But I want hard tackling where the players are weak, outlawed.
Thatís my two pence worth for this weekís damobit. Thanks for reading!