Despite tough new rules, players are still attempting the outlawed tackling style.
Canberra Raiders under 20s hooker Matt Frawley spent two nights in the city hospital’s neurology ward after being taken out with a sickening shoulder tackle.
Playing against the New Zealand Warriors at Canberra Stadium, Frawley was hit with the illegal tackle when he had just completed a pass to his outside.
It was then the Viliami Kaveinga drove his shoulder into Frawley’s head in what was seen as deliberate act, resulting in a grade five dangerous tackle.
Kaveinga has taken an early plea and will miss five games.
Frawley suffered convulsions on the ground while being attended by trainers and he suffered swelling on the brain and is expected not to play again or between four to six weeks.
The 18-year-old said he did not remember much of the incident, and after being against the NRL banning the shoulder charge, could see the benefit of it being outlawed from the game.
“I can remember making a break – and that’s it,” Frawley said.
“I can sort of recall some voices in the back of the ambulance.
“The first thing I can clearly remember is Mum and Dad next to my bed in hospital.
“Apparently I was out for a while.
“There is always a risk in contact sport, you play the game knowing that.
“I must admit I wasn’t a fan of the NRL getting rid of it.
“But now I’ve been on the receiving end of this one, I fully support what they are doing. I was pretty crook for a couple of days.”
Frawley’s coach Mick Mantelli still believed the sentence did not fit the crime, adding the tackle looked deliberate and late.
NRL general manager of football operations Nathan McGuirk said it was exactly the type of tackle the game did not need and said the punishment fit the crime.
“This was the style of tackle highlighted in the report commissioned by the ARLC, resulting in the shoulder charge ban going forward at all levels,” McGuirk said.
“On this occasion, the player clearly broke the rule regarding shoulder charges and will serve a substantial penalty.”