Leeds Rhinos: Cuthbo’ in call to cut out ‘illegal’ challenges

Adam Cuthbertson
Adam Cuthbertson
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LEEDS RHINOS prop Adam Cuthbertson says there are no hard feelings over the ‘cannonball tackle’ he suffered in last week’s win over Wigan Warriors, but he wants to see such challenges removed from the sport.

Cuthbertson was not injured in the tackle by Taulima Tautai, which went unpunished on the night. Tautai was later charged by the RFL’s match review panel with making grade B dangerous contact.

Tautai pleaded not guilty to the charge when he appeared before the committee last night but was found guilty and received a two-match ban and £300 fine.

He will miss Wigan’s Challenge Cup semi-final with Hull, along with team-mate Josh Charnley who received a similar punishment for after admitting making deliberate physical contact with referee Robert Hicks during the Leeds defeat.

“It’s an unfortunate thing to happen,” Cuthbertson said, referring to Tautai’s tackle.

“You don’t really need that in the game, but teams continue to coach it and it’s not going to be cracked down on until officials stand up and do something about it.

“I have only hurt my knee once in my whole career and that was from a very similar situation, so I’m not a big fan of it and I think it should be out of the game. Individuals have got to take responsibility on themselves and put a bit better effort into that sort of style of tackle and playing the game right, but nothing’s going to happen until someone speaks out.”

Cuthbertson and Tautai were team-mates at Australian outfit Newcastle Knights and the Leeds player said: “I have spoken to Taulima, he is a good mate of mine.

“On the football field you never take anything personally. I have spoken to him since and he said there was no intention.”

The win over Wigan lifted Leeds off the bottom of First Utility Super League into 11th place, level on points with the two sides immediately above them, Hull KR, and Salford Red Devils.

If they beat Hull KR, who are 10th, tomorrow, Leeds will be guaranteed four home games in the Qualifiers, one more than the sides finishing in the bottom two positions.

Rhinos have an inferior for and against to all their rivals, including Huddersfield Giants, who are two points adrift in last place, so could still finish 12th if they lose.

“Obviously it would be nice to finish off the bottom,” Cuthbertson said.

“Momentum is massive for us going into these eights and the biggest bonus would be being able to come and play at Headingley for four more weeks.

“After how the season has been I think we deserve to give our home fans every chance of seeing us play here as much as possible. It would be great to finish higher and have that advantage.”

Hull KR will be thinking the same way and Cuthbertson added: “It is a big game.

“Who would have thought at the end of the year we would be battling to finish high up in the middle-eights?

“You couldn’t have scripted that, but it’s just one of those things.

“I am sure they will come out raring to have a big game against us and we’ll be doing the same thing.

“We will take our positive form of late into it and hopefully we can get a good win.”

Rob  Burrow finds his path blocked at Huddersfield. Picture: Steve Riding.

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