BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 28: Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon watches his players warm up during the round eight NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Cronulla Sharks at Suncorp Stadium, on April 28, 2022, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Cronulla head coach Craig Fitzgibbon has been left scratching his head following the match review committees' perceived inconsistency regarding its adjudication of hip-drop tackles.

While Brisbane will be forced to traverse the next month without the services of Pat Carrigan following the 24-year-old's crude challenge on Tigers playmaker Jackson Hastings, the Shire side is set to do battle without Will Kennedy for an identical stretch, despite the back being the victim of a similar tackle.

Though the notion of eradicating hip-drops from the game has been a hot topic ahead of Round 21, Fitzgibbon remains vexxed as to why South Sydney's Tevita Tatola escaped penalty for his attack on Kennedy.

As reported by News Corp, the Sharks have sought a 'please explain' following the second-half incident during their golden-point win last weekend, however, Fitzgibbon is still beset by confusion.

“It’s getting difficult to understand,” Fitzgibbon said of the inconsistent rulings.
“No one actually intends to do it. They are unfortunate and they are happening more than normal.

“But we lose a good player who’s an important part of our team for an extended period, and there was no charge.

“I didn’t understand the explanation, but it is what it is."

Though a concrete timeline for Kennedy's return has not been set by the side from Captain Cook Drive, it has been suggested that in spite of his ankle requiring surgery, the 25-year-old may return for Cronulla's Round 23 fixture against Newcastle.

Fitzgibbon and his school will host rivals St George Illawarra at Shark Park on Saturday night, with kick-off in the integral clash scheduled for 7:35 pm (AEST).


  1. Lots of the inconsistency would disappear if the judiciary adopted a policy of “suspended for X weeks, plus however long the injured player is out of action”.

    For a start, players would be more careful with wild tackles, if they know they could be out for half a season if it all goes wrong.

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