Timana Tahu has some nice inputs into trying to minimize concussion. Players with high tackle counts are at much greater risk of severe head injury which may affect them in later life. Mahoney does a lot of tackles every game. Nice seeing him with headgear but is that enough?

Great article which should be considered by all NRL coaches,players  and referees as well


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  • Thats headgear is just to protect his ears, it does nothing for concussion unfortunatly. 

  • It's pretty simple.

    You touch an opponent's head, whether it be intentional or not, you're gone. There's a whole body there to tackle from the boot laces to the shoulders. This would get rid of the tackler pushing on the opponents head etc. when getting up. It would also speed up the game as tacklers would have to be careful of touching the head / neck and offloads would be more common and then we could get rid of the six again rule and others that have been introduced to speed up the game, each decreasing the integrity of the game.

    Attackers would no doubt get onto pushing or putting their head in places so the tackler comes into contact with their head, but we have how many cameras covering each game and the bunker for that and they too are heavily penalised if found guilty.

    Touch the head, you're gone.


    • Grunts agree with you. Going back in years the only time one really saw a tackle above the shoulders was by accident or by coat hanger tackle,  which usually meant the tackler was sent off, especially if the Ambo's &/or Medico's were called to attend the tackled player.

      These days with multiple defenders in a tackle the ball player is pretty much high targetted every run, no matter the team.  The old saying regarding tackles 'They cannot run without legs" should be the prime consideration. Chest high should be the highest allowed with shoulder & above penalty and on report, if tackled player goes off as a result of a high shot so should the tackler go off.

      • Colin you refer to multiple defenders---any thoughts about doing something about gang tackles eg should there be a limit of 3 to a tackle.

        • If one player can tackle and bring down an attacking player why would we need 3 tacklers?  Personally I would say 3 is the most allowed but prefer it to be 2 in tackles.  The caveat really is the size of the attacking player especially if he has ball skills which is like a blow fly attack on fresh cow dung, fear of letting the attacking player get extra distance is why the extra tacklers involved.

          Aalthough what I see more than often is that 3 involves holding the player up, then bring him down, then with the 3 tacklers laying over the the attacking player there is usually one around the legs, the other two holding down while the lower one/3rd player takes off to cover the defensive line, then the struggle to get up and play the ball. At least one of the remaining defenders is not in line with the tackled player and he can read the DH play and has a starting break to get to the side of the ball play..

          What we then see is the ref watching the defense line and trying to hold it, but it then provides the opportunity for the tackled player to move around 2 steps forward pushing the markers away instead of having to play the ball on the tackled spot.  The other blight in the defence line is the defender who pushes the play the ball player backwards, what happened to the crowding rule? why is the play the ball player pushed back that affects the DH?

          The linesmen should be the ones who hold the defending line, that is their role and not as spectators, that means the ref should be holding the mark, to me the game these days spoken of as being fast, I prefer to call it as to an old name Running Wrestling.  Defense in many ways is there to hurt the opposition and slow them down.

          3 at most in a tackle and 2 the prefered number of defenders, if they have tackling efficiency two is all that's needed.

  • What we need to do is stop punishing round the ankles one one on one taclkles. When this tackle is made it should be called the dominate tackle and the markers must be set before the player is allowed to play the ball or 4 seconds whichever comes first. The problem with high tackles is that the brain still rebounds even if it is not hit hence why shoulder charge is banned. Rounds the ankles tackles use player momentum rather than collision to stop the player. 

    • Timana makes the point that a lot of concussion events occur through head injuries due to tackling technique. Players like Mahoney who does a lot of low head-on tackles in a game multiply that by 200 games or so runs the risk of later-life brain damage..Getting tackles right 100 % of the time is impossible.Did Kaysa Pritchard stop playing due to worrying head injuries?

      • Pritchard did not retire due to head injuries. Agree with your comment on technique but side on round the ankles technique allows your head to be on the correct side and the shoulder to drive the tackle. Look at Steve Mortimer career rarely had head injuriesand could tackle the biggest of players using shoulder drive in tackle. Once again give this type of tackle the applause it deserves.

        • Paul Taylor had a wonderful tackling technique as well. Only a little guy as well..You often see tries scored when sometimes multiple defenders go high with the grab..

      • No Tad Pritchard retired as the result of damaged testicles that has prevented him from having children.

        Annersley has come out in the last day or so to speak out against the high tackles and refs not policing it, he is saying a crack down on tackles that go above the shoulders are to penalised, the 6 again and restarts are also to be monitored.

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