Luke O’Donnell faces five week suspension — and why the Roosters should fight.

Source: Fox Sports

Source: Fox Sports

If there has ever been a time to campaign that it’s #NotHisGo, it’s now.

The NRL has charged Sydney Roosters front-rower Luke O’Donnell with a Grade 3 Dangerous Throw charge, which could rule him out for up to five weeks if the Roosters decide to fight the charge and lose.

However, if he takes the early guilty plea he will be back for the first game of the Finals.

Why the Roosters should fight the charge.

O’Donnell, with 29 matches suspended on his rap sheet, was charged after flipping Tim Simona like a pancake in the first half of the Roosters’ 56-14 win on Monday night:

The charge is excessive considering Cooper Cronk did not even have to head to the judiciary to fight this tackle in their match earlier this season:

Source: Herald Sun.

In this writer’s humble opinion, the Roosters should fight the charge using the above .gif, footage and pictures of Luke O’Donnell at the Children’s Hospital or rescuing a cat from a tree.

The Roosters need to channel every single club legend, lament the death of the biff and blame the NRL for this. It worked for Burgess, who somehow gets just a two week ban for grabbing some testicles, and Jeff Lima, who twisted Anthony Watmough’s ankle with what looked to be pure intent.

If the Roosters cannot prove that O’Donnell’s Simona-flip was less dangerous than the above tackle — when Cooper Cronk drove Roger Tuivasa-Sheck into the ground — then something is wrong with the system. And the only way to circumvent the system is to tug on the heart strings, blame something completely unrelated, and end every quote with it’s #NotHisGo.

This is half sarcastic of course. This writer is totally against these kinds of tackles and LO’D probably deserves a stint on the sidelines for a clear brain-snap. But given the tackles that have come before his one this year, surely the Roosters should challenge the charge on the now-commonplace #NotHisGo defence.

The tackle had no intent to it, no driving force and ultimately nothing serious occured besides a spectacle. Did this tackle really warrant a Grade 3 and Cronk’s a stern “no case to answer”? Really?

The NRL set a dangerous precedent when it didn’t charge Cronk for that tackle. For those wanting consistency, this will be an interesting test case.


10 responses to “Luke O’Donnell faces five week suspension — and why the Roosters should fight.

  1. In response to my inquiry re: RTS speartackle at the time the MRC replied with the following;
    The Match Review Committee ruled on the incident and did not believe it warranted a charge. While the player was lifted into a position of concern, it was their opinion that it was not to a degree that warranted a charge especially considering the player landed on his shoulder and not on his head or neck.”

    As a result Cronk was deemed to have ‘no case to answer’.


    • I remember you saying that…thanks for adding this to the story mate. Given that “finding” and if the NRL are after consistency, then the Roosters SHOULD challenge it.

      I’m still steaming, clearly, about the Cronk no-charge. I’m vehemently against the spear tackle and believe that LO’D should face a stint on the sidelines — but it smacks of inconsistency if he does.


  2. Steaming, yes. Likewise…
    I disagree however that LO’D should receive any penalty whatsoever. The NRL and MRC are the ones responsible for the disparity that we see season after season. It’s about time they were made accountable. In theory both offenders should have received suspensions. Absolutely. The mere fact is that either one of these tackles could very well have ended with tragic consequences. It has been luck alone in both these cases that has seen both these players get up and carry on with the game. It’s neither Cronk nor LO’D that are the ones in charge of handing out suspensions, and I for one demand the same latitude.


    • Oh i totally agree, don’t worry. Based on the Cronk tackle alone, Luke has no case to answer. The Cronk decision or lack thereof opened up a dangerous precedent in my opinion.


      • Referees somehow don’t consider pile driver tackles sin bin-worthy (everyone on Inglis) and don’t even notice shoulder charges that break jaws when standing right in front of them (Buderus on Ferguson). I don’t hold out much hope for consistency, or even precedents. They seem to need a new one every year, then totally disregard the gift horses when they present themselves. It’s ridiculous, as Toovs might say. This year could have turned out very differently at the judiciary and on the field had they taken their opportunities.

        Todd Greenberg says he wants to grow the game and not talk about referees. Well, fix it, dear Toddy. It’s a complete mess. And THAT is the reason we all keep talking about it and taking away from the on-field action.

        Take the Cronk example you cite … or the Lima tackle against Manly. What don’t they understand about the use of leverage on bodily joints (brought to you by our proud sponsor, Melbourne Storm)? I mean, this was a two pronged attack, first with the upper body and head applying pressure to the medial area while pulling the ankle in the opposite direction, and only then the aggressive twist that everyone is focusing on.

        This use of leverage is the very same jiu jitsu movement they are taught multiple times per week by their wrestling coaches. It’s plain as day, yet it’s a Grade 1? C’mon.


          • Great comments mate…and I agree, on the balance of how the tackle looked it deserves a suspension. But given all the tackles before that one, it surely warrants as much of a suspension as Cooper Cronk received.

            But as you said, that’s asking for consistency from a wildly erratic judiciary.


  3. I’ll harp on this just this little bit further…
    By “grudgingly accepting” what is likely to be an early plea the Rooster’s, along with every other NRL club and fairminded fan of the game, let the NRL and particularly the MRC, off the hook AGAIN.
    As a professional sport we deserve better than these mugs and their tea leaves decisions and the endless promise that things will get better.


  4. Pingback: Teams for Cronulla Sharks Vs Sydney Roosters, Rd 24, 2013 | 26 Rounds·

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