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Raiders Question NRL's Motives
Canberra coach Matthew Elliott has publicly questioned the National Rugby League's crackdown on spear tackles as Cronulla prepares to take on the judiciary over the issue on Wednesday night.
The Sharks on Tuesday entered a not guilty plea to a grade three dangerous throw charge levelled against Sam Isemonger and are ready to dispute the grading of a similar offence against Daniel Dumas.
Their decision came as Elliott weighed in on the issue - despite the Raiders failing to have any players charged with dangerous throw offences.
"I feel that some of the tackles that have been referred to the disciplinary committee ... I don't see them as being dangerous tackles," he said.
The Sharks also entered a not guilty plea to a grade three careless high tackle charge against prop Dale Newton.
Cronulla general manager Steve Rogers admitted the club was entering new territory with its decision to fight the dangerous throw charges after a recent edict from the league to provide greater deterrents to spear tackles.
Rogers said the club wouldn't be using any previous spear tackles as comparisons because the severity of tackles was now judged differently.
"We can't really refer to early ones because they (the NRL) have moved the goalposts," he said.
"I think we are dealing with this one on its merits.
"The roles of the two players in the tackle are very, very different.
"To have Sam charged as high as Daniel I find a little bit hard to comprehend."
Melbourne forward Mitchell Sargent will also fight a dangerous throw charge on Wednesday night, although his is only a grade one offence.
Of the other five players charged by commissioner Jim Hall with dangerous throw offences, all entered guilty pleas and received one match suspensions.
Hall said he would like to see the NRL and coaches come together to discuss the issue, or the game could up with a "real problem".
St George Illawarra five-eighth Shaun Timmins will lead off a busy night at the judiciary after electing to fight a grade two careless high tackle charge.