Victor Radley under fire as Souths left fuming over Shaq Mitchell injury
Rabbitohs star Damien Cook has hit out at the Roosters player over the incident.
South Sydney hooker Damien Cook has questioned why Roosters NRL rival Victor Radley was not charged over a contentious incident that left Rabbitohs big man Shaquai Mitchell with a serious foot injury. The older brother of superstar fullback Latrell Mitchell, Shaquai suffered the injury during the Rabbitohs' spiteful round three defeat to the Roosters.
The interchange forward was forced from the field after an awkward tackle involving Radley in the 41st minute of the 20-18 defeat to the Roosters. Replays showed Radley tackling the Bunnies big man low, while two other teammates wrapped up the hulking forward above the waist to prevent an offload.
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Radley could be seen grabbing Mitchell by the feet in order to stop the momentum of the Rabbitohs player and bring him to the ground. Mitchell fell awkwardly on his left ankle, with scans on Monday confirming he'd suffered a lisfranc injury - described as being a bone break or torn ligaments in the midfoot.
Reports on the Rabbitohs:
- Tevita Tatola to miss 3-4 weeks with an MCL sprain. Likely partial tear with that timeframe
- Shaq Mitchell to miss at least 8 weeks with a Lisfranc injury, ? surgery
- Jai Arrow aggravated his hamstring injury, will miss at least another week pic.twitter.com/7Tak1gia2j
— NRL PHYSIO (@nrlphysio) March 21, 2023
Mitchell is set to be sidelined for at least eight weeks after his prognosis, with Radley escaping punishment for the tackle. However, Cook insists that Radley should have been charged and potentially suspended over the incident, which he described as being a hip drop tackle.
"I don't know what a textbook hip-drop tackle is, but that looked like one," Cook told the Sydney Morning Herald. "Sitting on the back of someone's ankles and putting them in a bad position doesn't help.
Damien Cook wants 'crackdown' on hip-drop tackles
Cook says the game has a responsibility to crack down hard on hip-drop tackles, where a third man in tackles the ball-carrier below the waist, while two other teammates wrap up his arms. Newcastle recruit Jackson Hastings suffered a horror leg break while playing for the Wests Tigers last year after a hip-drop tackle from Patrick Carrigan that resulted in a four-game ban for the Brisbane forward.
"The game needs to crack down on it straight away to prevent any more injuries for any team," Cook added. Victor (Radley) is a competitor, he wants to stop that player and bring him to the ground by any means necessary. It's something we all need to have coached out of us. "
Cook admitted it was "devastating" to see Mitchell in a moon boot and on crutches after the game. The Rabbitohs hooker said Mitchell had come into the new season full of positivity off the back of an excellent pre-season, with his injury lay-off representing a significant blow to both the player and the team.
The Rabbitohs next face the high-flying Manly Sea Eagles on Saturday night, with Mitchell's injury just one in a number of concerns for coach Jason Demetriou's side. Hame Sele joined the Rabbitohs' casualty ward on Friday alongside Mitchell, Jai Arrow (hamstring), Siliva Havili (ankle) and Liam Knight (knee).
The raft of outs for the Bunnies is set to put further strain on the side's middle forward rotation, increasing the pressure on halves pairing Cody Walker and Lachlan Ilias to provide for their teammates with a weakened platform. "It changes the game not having three or four middles on the bench," Ilias conceded. The boys do get tired but it's something you've just to live with and adapt to."
The Rabbitohs go into Saturday night's clash with Manly having only won one game in the first three rounds. The Sea Eagles on the other hand are two wins from two under new coach Anthony Seibold, with victories over Canterbury and Parramatta coming either side of their round two bye.
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