Leeds Rhinos: ‘Cowardly’ tackles have no place in game – Mac

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THE TACKLE which earned Salford Red Devils star Rangi Chase a seven-game ban has been labelled “disgusting” by Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott.

Chase will miss Rhinos’ visit to Salford on Sunday as he begins the suspension for a Grade E dangerous throw on Huddersfield Giants’ Brett Ferres, who was left with a severe ankle injury.

McDermott watched the incident during his preparations for this weekend’s game and said: “It’s not good, you wonder why those tackles are still in the game.

“I can’t imagine it goes through Rangi Chase’s head to do that on purpose, I can’t imagine he’s done that with any sort of intent.

“But at the same time, I can’t imagine why you’d aim so low and do it so aggressively. I think it is a disgusting tackle and it irritates me that those things are still in the game.

“Without trying to be controversial, it is wrong, just so wrong it’s untrue. It is not toughness.

“There’s a few words I know that get bandied about to describe those type of tackles. The teams that employ those type of tactics talk about malice or toughness, or butchering is another phrase I’ve heard.

“The only word I’ve got is cowardice. I hate it, I wish we could get just rid of that philosophy.”

McDermott said he is not talking about tackles made with good intent, which have unexpected consequences.

He added: “You will always have a tackle in a game that will go wrong and someone gets injured.

“That’s the nature of our game, but to go out there with intent to do that, it just smacks of two or three school kids holding up a kid against a school wall and a bully hitting him in the face while he can’t do anything about it – and them all running off slapping each other on the back saying aren’t we tough.

“It is cowardice in my opinion.”

Meanwhile, McDermott said Rhinos have put the controversy surrounding Zak Hardaker “to bed” after the internal investigation into the behaviour of the full-back and fellow players Elliot Minchella, Ash Handley, Robbie Mulhern and Josh Walters was completed.

Hardaker – who, along with Minchella, admitted an assault in Leeds in February – will donate a month’s salary to charity, enroll on an anger-management course and undertake voluntary work for the Rhinos Foundation and the club’s marketing department.

McDermott said: “It has been dealt with and Zak has taken everything on board – and offered quite a bit as well, in terms of solutions to any issues we as a club and he’s had. That’s put it to bed now and we’ll crack on.”

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