Rabbitohs forward Tevita Tatola has escaped a ban for a 'chicken wing' tackle after NRL greats Michael Ennis, Gordon Tallis and Scott Parker argued over the incident.
On a dominant night for the Rabbitohs, Cameron Murray was brilliant in Saturday's do-or-die semi-final, while Lachlan Ilias also stood up and Taane Milne scored two tries.
But it didn't come without some concerns, with Alex Johnston suffering a hip flexor injury, Siliva Havili a calf problem and Jai Arrow a groin issue ahead of next Saturday's clash at Accor Stadium.
One player they won't have to worry about is one of their star forwards.
Tatola ran for 152 metres against the Sharks and will be a huge asset against a strong Penrith forward pack.
The Match Review Committee charged Tatola with grade 1 dangerous contact after a chicken wing tackle on Ronaldo Mulitalo.
However, there was debate on whether he should have been facing a ban.
NRL greats Gordon Tallis and Michael Ennis entered into an argument on the severity of the arm contact.
“I think he’s in trouble. He readjusts and whilst he’s trying to turn the player onto his back, you can’t use the arm to do that," Ennis said.
— Dan Walsh (@dan_walsh64) September 18, 2022
However, Tallis wasn't having it and said it looked like Mulitalo milked it when Tatola pulled out from doing any serious damage.
“I think it’s a grade two carry-on from the winger here and I reckon it’s preschool. Look at that carry-on," Tallis added.
However, this started a debate.
Braith Anasta also claimed Mulitalo 'milked' the incident for a penalty, but said there was definitely a 'chicken wing' type movement.
Tallis then backed Tatola and said he shouldn't miss a game.
“If that tackle happens to you, do you want the player that does it to miss a game?” Tallis questioned.
“I disagree,” Ennis said.
“You can’t look at it like that Gorden.”
“So what do we look at it like?” Tallis added.
“You have got to look at it on merit,” Corey Parker said.
“It is irrelevant.”
“No it is not,” Tallis replied.
Tallis claimed Tatola would escape a ban.
“If you do anything illegal then you get suspended for it,” Ennis said.
“I think that is a chicken wing.”
Anasta went on to say that Tatola stopped the 'chicken wing' before it got 'ugly'.
Regardless, Tatola will face the Panthers next week in the preliminary final.
South Sydney smash the Sharks in statement win
little was going to sour the Bunnies' night at Allianz Stadium as they qualified for a fifth straight preliminary final.
They jumped out to an 18-0 at halftime and while Cronulla got themselves back into the game at 18-6 and 24-12, the Rabbitohs never looked in trouble.
Souths also did it without relying on Latrell Mitchell for an impact play.
Mitchell kicked seven goals from as many attempts but he also threw an intercept pass that led to a Sharks try.
Cody Walker also had a quiet evening, but he did skip over for the try that put the match to bed at 30-12 before Milne crossed late.
Instead, this time it all started with their inspirational skipper Murray.
The lock has been one of the unsung heroes of South Sydney's surge to the finals, routinely playing a part in tries for his outside men by digging into the line.
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