The NRL has altered a rule that is now more strict on shoulder charges, and quite a few players have received suspensions just a fortnight after the new ruling. Some of the highest penalized NRL players include Aidan Guerra, Jorge Taufua, Lachlan Burr, and Jordan Rapana. Each player has been given a shoulder charge suspension, some with differing degrees of punishment as a result of early pleas and and the grade of the charge.
A move is considered a shoulder charge when a player makes a no arms tackle. Knocking into someone with your shoulder instead of using your arms for a tackle can now result in a suspension depending on the severity of the charge. A shoulder charge's degree of punishment is dependent on the grade level of the charge that is assigned by the official, with grade one being the least severe.
Guerra was charged with a grade one shoulder charge for a charge made against player Peni Terepo. This will force him to be on the sidelines for two weeks, unable to play. Taufua is facing just a single game penalty for the same charge on player Jack Wighton. Jordan Rapana received a two game suspension after he took an early plea to avoid a longer punishment, while Lachlan Burr will be facing a one game ban for his charge. Sam Rapira is another player that could be facing charges from the night, but will be charged with a dangerous throw instead of a shoulder charge.
Players Issac Luke and Luke Keary both were given just a single game ban for shoulder charge plays made in a victorious game against North Queensland. While Issac did take out an early plea to avoid extended punishment for the shoulder charge, he is contesting it with the NRL. If he doesn't succeed in getting the ban lifted, he will be given an extended two game punishment for the shoulder charge. This will be the first appeal made against the new shoulder charge rule that was created just a few nights ago. On the other hand, Keary won't be appealing his charge and will be taking the one game ban so that he can for sure return the next week to play against Brisbane.
The NRL might now be changing their ruling as a result of several players getting out of their bans due to the controversial shoulder tackle ruling. Players Issac Luke, Jorge Taufua, and Aidan Guerra all had their bans dropped in just 21 minutes into the appeal process.
The new shoulder charge ruling had resulted from Kane Evan's hit against Sam Kasiano in a game between Souths and Manly. As a result of these new ban removals, the NRL may be changing the ruling again to be less critical.
Guerra felt like it was a joke that he had to be there in the first place, and felt happy that the ruling went into their favor. It was just common sense.