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March 25 2013 2 25 /03 /March /2013 04:50

Richard Fa'aoso charged with grade three dangerous tackle for his shoulder charge on Ashley Harrison

MANLY forward Richard Fa'aoso has been charged with a grade three dangerous tackle for his shoulder charge on Titans forward Ashley Harrison.

In the first indication the NRL is serious about banning the shoulder charge, Fa'aosso is facing three to four weeks on the sideline.


Harrison was carried from the field on a stretcher with his neck in a brace.


Manly will decide this afternoon whether to fight the charge.


Manly coach Geoff Toovey hoped "media speculation" didn't influence the punishment handed out to prop Richie Fa'aoso for the tackle that left Gold Coast's Ashley Harrison heavily concussed


Richie Fa'Aoso

Sea Eagles forward Richie Fa'Aoso is put on report after a late hit on Ashley Harrison. Picture: Bradley Kanaris

Many in the media are suggesting this is a test of credibility for the NRL following the decision to ban the shoulder charge at the end of last season


Fa'aoso knocked Harrison out cold on Saturday night but replays show it was a head clash that caused the concussion - not contact with Fa'aoso's shoulder.


However, it is also fair to suggest that the head clash would not have occurred if Fa'aoso wasn't attempting a shoulder charge.


Speaking at Manly training today ahead of the match review committee's making their verdict, Toovey said of the incident: "I just hope all this media speculation doesn't rub off on the judiciary. It is a head clash and we think he (Fa'aoso) will be okay.


Ashley Harrison

Titans forward Ashley Harrison lies prone after being knocked out by a shoulder charge from Manly's Richie Fa'aoso. Picture: Adam Head

"It is not a traditional shoulder charge, it was more front on. As I said it was just a ricocheted and a head clash and I think it was just lucky that Richie's head is a bit harder than Ashley Harrison's."


And he was also of the opinion that the NRL made the wrong decision banning the shoulder charge in the first place.

"Look, all the coaches agreed that we think it was the wrong thing. We already had a law to protect players heads," Toovey said.


"I think all the coaches expressed that point of view but the powers that be decided differently."


Asked if the shoulder charge should be brought back, Toovey added: "It's not up to me it is up to the blokes that make those decisions. Look, the coaches weren't for it but they went and did it so it is out of our hands."


Harrison has put his hand up to play Penrith this Sunday but his fate is in the hands of the club doctor.

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