- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Frustrated St George Illawarra forward Tyrell Fuimaono has accused the NRL of inconsistencies on hip-drop tackle rulings and letting injuries greatly influence suspensions for high shots.
Fuimaono will play his first NRL game of the year on Sunday after a five-game ban for a hip-drop in the pre-season that ruptured three ligaments in Haze Dunter's knee and ended the Parramatta winger's season.
It was the second time in two years Fuimaono had been suspended for a hip-drop, where a defending player drops the weight of their body on the ball-carrier to bring the attacker to the ground.
The 26-year-old has spent the past two months trying to fix his technique, but is also frustrated after watching what he claims are several hip-drops that have gone unsanctioned.
"Unfortunately I've been in a few judiciaries now and (know) what is an indication of a hip-drop and the severity of it," he said.
"After seeing a few that have happened in the last few weeks, I think they've eased on it or something has changed."
At the top of his list is Jared Waerea-Hargreaves' tackle on Jaydn Su'A on Anzac Day, with the Dragons back-rower needing ankle surgery.
The Sydney Roosters prop was not charged by the match review committee, who ruled it was purely accidental the fully-stretched prop fell sideways while trying to hold on in a tackle.
There is also no suggestion by AAP of foul play from Waerea-Hargreaves.
But Fuimaono is adamant it was a hip-drop.
"I got charged with one (in 2020) on Junior Paulo, that there was textbook the exact same," Fuimaono told reporters.
"I don't expect him to get five weeks, but given that Su'A was severely injured there should have been some kind of kickback from it.
"But there was nothing. It wasn't a penalty. It wasn't even up for discussion."
Fuimaono also took issue with the fact Daniel Tupou was not sin-binned but then received a grade-two careless high tackle for his hit on Mikaele Ravalawa last week.
Fuimaono was sent off and handed a reckless high tackle charge for a hit that left Melbourne fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen heavily concussed last year, ruling him out for two months.
"(Tupou)'s one was (just as bad), if not worse," Fuimaono argued.
"What justifies mine being five weeks is that (Papenhuyzen) got injured.
"Whereas he clean took his head off, but because Mika is OK, it doesn't justify it."
Fuimaono was confident his technique would stand up on his return from suspension.
"I haven't been doing these things intentionally, but they're still costing me games and time on the sideline," he said.
"I've made a conscious effort through this five-week period to try and amend that.
"I found myself in a one-on-one just pulling them to the ground by any means.
"Now with the game being a bit faster, two-man tackles are a lot more common. Finishing standing up is a lot more popular.
"So it's just that not feeling the rush to drag someone to the ground but being content at controlling and holding in a standing position."