The glaring inconsistencies of the NRL’s Match Review Committee have been thrust into the spotlight again following a number of confusing decisions and a subsequent tirade from league legend and commentator Andrew Johns.
Less than a week after the charges against Dale Finucane and Corey Waddell set a strong precedent for heavy punishments, Johns – and much of the rugby league world – couldn’t believe that the MRC found no grounds for a charge against Melbourne Storm prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona.
The giant front-rower was put on report during the Storm’s game against the Warriors, seemingly using his elbow to fend off Wayde Egan in a move that ultimately left the Warrior with several cracked teeth.
Though Asofa-Solomona was placed on report during the match, he was not handed a charge by the MRC on Saturday morning. The NRL claimed that the contact was entirely incidental and therefore warranted no punishment.
Johns couldn’t believe the verdict, expressing his outrage on Nine’s Sunday Footy Show.
“It’s laughable,” Johns said of the decision.
“I back the players all the time, but for me that’s a four-month suspension.
“Nothing for that, or even a fine? That’s close to a send-off. I can’t believe it.”
The MRC defended their decision, with coordinator Luke Patten speaking after the call.
“There was clear separation between Asofa-Solomona’s arm and the head of Wayde Egan as the players went to ground,” Patten told AAP.
“His arm lands on Egan’s chest on a diagonal and makes incidental contact with his head after the ground impact.
“As a result, the MRC cleared the tackle of involving either a head slam or a dangerous action.”