Canberra fullback Jack Wighton has been charged with a Grade 2 shoulder charge from the match against the Wests Tigers yesterday. The offence carries a base penalty of a bazillion points. With an early plea it can be reduced to “maybe you can play next year” but probably not, because Canberra mostly.
Match Review Committee Coordinator Michael Buettner said there was a clear difference between the tackle performed by Sharks hooker Michael Ennis, who was not charged, and the Wighton tackle.
“We look for three key indicators when determining whether a shoulder charge has been made,” Mr Buettner said.
“First, we play close attention to jersey colour. In the Wighton case, you can clearly see he is wearing a green jersey, thus rendering him unimportant to us. Secondly, as you can see, Ennis’ tackle was clearly late, and off the ball, so you can’t really even call it a tackle. So it doesn’t count.”
Mr Buettner continued “and finally, Mick’s was clearly a shoulder barge, not a shoulder charge. They are entirely different things.”
When pushed on whether the ruling represented an ongoing lack of consistency when it came to judicial decisions, Buettner responded “at least this way we’re trying to ensure they get two home finals. Canberra fans should be grateful.”
Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart was approached for comment, but only responded “Ricky Smash!!!” before tearing off his shirt on a rampage down Northbourne Avenue.