Michael Jennings heads to the sin bin. (AAP Image/Craig Golding)
Michael Jennings heads to the sin bin. (AAP Image/Craig Golding)

NRL star cops it for ugly blow

PARRAMATTA centre Michael Jennings will miss Sunday's NRL showdown with Canterbury after being suspended for his high shot on Panthers backrower Isaah Yeo in their season opener.

Jennings will miss a week after pleadingguilty to a grade two careless high tackle charge stemming from an ugly incident in the Eel's upset win over Penrith on Sunday.

The Panthers skipper was forced to leave the field and looked groggy after being hit high by the veteran outside back, who was sin-binned for 10 minutes.

NRL journalist Paul Kent backed the call to send Jennings to the sin bin for the questionable blow.

"Spot on. I've got no complaint whatsoever, it was the best solution," Kent said on Fox League.

"It went to the video referee because there was a try scored by the Parramatta Eels. They went back and looked at that. Isaah Yeo is out cold before he hits the ground, he couldn't get up on his own volition, he had to be helped from the field.

"The rules now state that if you injure a player and he has to be taken from the field in what's a foul tackle, you can be sin binned. That's textbook. People say it nearly cost Parramatta the game by sending him to the sin bin - bad luck. That's the rule.

"I would argue (Michael Jennings nearly cost Parramatta the game), not the referee."

Isaah Yeo is helped from the field. (Picture: Matt King/Getty Images)
Isaah Yeo is helped from the field. (Picture: Matt King/Getty Images)


Kangaroos winger Dane Gagai has backed Stephen Kearney's calls for the NRL to look at the rules that allow attacking players to be tackled mid-air after collecting kicks.

Warriors coach Kearney was left concerned after winger David Fusitu'a was hit mid-air by Canterbury winger Christian Crichton on Saturday while leaping to catch a cross-field kick, flipping him around before he hit the ground. While a player cannotbe tackled in mid-air when fielding a kick from the opposing team, an attacking player can.

"Obviously it's within the rules and we're allowed to do it. But as an outside back and going up for those balls it's a bit of a 50-50 thing," Gagai said.

"It's a dangerous tackle, but at the end of the day it's what is written in the rule books that you can make a play as a defender that you can make a tackle in the air.

"It should be looked at before something really bad happens." Gagai's comments came after Kearney said on Saturday he planned on making a submission to the NRL over the rule.

"David just needed to land the wrong way - and it's legal - but he could have ended up in a really, really bad position," Kearney said.

Matt Lodge also put on a questionable hit over the weekend.
Matt Lodge also put on a questionable hit over the weekend.

"I reckon there's something that needs to be done about that before someone gets badly hurt." The current rule is in place to allow for defenders to stop a player from scoring if they catch the ball near or over the tryline.

However the NRL's head of football Graham Annesley this week said the play could be policed by penalising defenders for a dangerous tackle.

"The question here is, is this a dangerous tackle as opposed to just tackling someone in mid-air," Annesley said.

"The referee has the option to take action if he thinks it's dangerous. "We've had some contact from Steve already, I can understand his point of view. Personally my point of view is that probably should have resulted in a penalty."


Wests Tigers skipper Moses Mbye is in line to lead out the NRL side for the first time this weekend, according to coach Michael Maguire.

Mbye missed the joint venture's opening-round win due to a knee injury but is a chance to take on the Warriors at Campbelltown Stadium on Sunday evening.

After being appointed captain during the off-season, it would mark Mbye's first game in charge of the Tigers.

Maguire said the injury had hindered Mbye's speed and running but he was showing signs of getting back to full fitness.

"He is (pushing for a return), he trained today and we'll see how he is as the week goes by," Maguire said on Tuesday.

Moses Mbye is back.
Moses Mbye is back.

"Around midweek I'll make a decision around that. He's trained really well over this last little period.

"We sat him out last week because we felt he just wasn't there. He's pretty close now."

Maguire also confirmed playmaker Josh Reynolds would turn out in the NSW Cup this weekend.

Meanwhile, Warriors hooker Issac Luke trained on Tuesday and is a chance to take on the Tigers.

Coach Stephen Kearney said the New Zealand Test veteran was "in contention for the 21" after he missed the side's impressive 40-6 defeat of Canterbury.

"He trained a bit today, we'll make a better assessment once we get an idea of him after today's session," Kearney said.

"We'll just have to wait and see how he pulls up today."

- with AAP