Round 11: Justice: NRL admits Broncos star’s sin conviction was wrong decision amid hip-drop confusion

The NRL acknowledged the bunker in Brisbane’s loss to Melbourne was wrong to sin Bin Patrick Carrigan and said the Broncos prop man failed to perform a hip drop tackle.

Carrigan was cleared of any wrongdoing for his tackle on Storm prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona on Friday, meaning he won’t be disqualified from the State of Origin series opener.

But the decision will come as cold comfort to the Broncos after Carrigan was sentenced to sin in the 52nd minute of Thursday night’s clash by a score of 10-10.

With Carrigan off the field, Melbourne shot clean with a penalty and then scored a converted try en route to a 24-16 victory.

NRL football chief Graham Annesley confirmed on Friday that the Game Review Committee was correct in acquitting Carrigan for a foul play and that the player should not have been singled out.

“While there were elements of a hip-drop action in the tackle, the critical component of having the majority of the bodyweight drop straight to the legs wasn’t there,” Annesley said.

“On that basis, the Match Review Committee rightly did not press charges.

“If Bunker had any doubts about the incident, it should have been reported and left to the Game Review Committee to make a decision after the game.”

Carrigan was amused after the game.

“It felt like he hit me on my outside shoulder and I just went for a tackle. I don’t think I landed on it at all, but the game is trying to get it out of the game at the moment. I don’t really think it was a hip drop. Hopefully he’s okay, the big guy has come back,” he said.

Former NSW captain Paul Gallen said in Channel Nine’s post-match commentary that the tackle was “no way” a hip drop.

Storm legend Cameron Smith asked, “Where are we coming from?” As he put it, it was “almost his armpit” that had contact with Asofa-Solomona. “Seriously?” he asked himself amused.

Brisbane manager Kevin Walters said his side had been treated harshly by match officials.

“I’m pretty frustrated,” he said. “We came here to play football, we did that all year and I just don’t think we could play football.

“We had three boys in sin. When that happens, it’s hard to win. Were these fair covenants? I will not comment as my contract is not big enough to pay the fine.”

“He (Carrigan) slipped down his legs. You don’t want to experience that in a grand finale. That someone receives a sin bond for it. Now what the NRL is asking you to do is slide down your legs and Patty did that.”

The Carrigan incident followed two months of confusion surrounding hip drop tackle.

Three weeks ago, the Bunker challenged Ezra Mam and J’maine Hopgood for hip drop tackles in Brisbane’s win over Parramatta, but not Payne Haas for a similar challenge.

The following day, Haas and Mam were hit with second-tier charges, while Hopgood was slapped with the lesser first-tier charge.

On Good Friday, Canterbury newcomer Jacob Preston was given a sin penalty for a hip drop tackle in the bunker but was not charged by the Match Review Committee.

The NRL has argued that there is no confusion about the indicators of a hip drop, with Annesley regularly showing examples in his weekly fan and media briefings.

The football department was also asked by the ARL commission to build a library of examples to provide education around tackle.

But Thursday night’s situation does little to aid their cause.

Storm coach Craig Bellamy said the NRL is “inconsistent” with their tackle decisions.

Brisbane full-back Reece Walsh was the only player charged in Thursday’s game after avoiding a penalty from the bunker for a shoulder attack on Justin Olam. He can issue a $1,500 fine.

There were no charges from Friday night’s games.
with AAP Round 11: Justice: NRL admits Broncos star’s sin conviction was wrong decision amid hip-drop confusion

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