Amid the NRL’s divisive crackdown on illegal contact, Souths hitman Jai Arrow has reminded fans that referees have a “hard” job in trying to police the game.
Arrow made the revelation when quizzed about teammate Cameron Murray, whose Origin dreams were jeopardised on Saturday night after he was cited for a crusher tackle on Blake Ferguson.
In his first game back from injury, Murray was placed on report in the first half for a tackle on the Eels winger.
On Sunday, the Match Review Committee announced Murray had not been charged for the tackle so will be free for Origin selection.
“I don’t feel as though he put any pressure on his neck. I think they’re taking the crackdown a bit too far,” Arrow said of the tackle after the game.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for player welfare and I’m all for cracking down on crushers and high shots, but I just feel they have to be realistic with it.
“There was no pressure on the neck and I don’t think anything will come of it, but who knows these days?
“It’s so hard for the refs. They’ve got the worst job in the world and that’s what they’ve been told to do.
“Cam didn’t put his neck in any danger. I was in that tackle, and sometimes in a tackle like that, you control the head and the body, but you’re not putting any pressure on their neck.”
Arrow (L) is highly likely to feature in this year’s Origin series. (Image/Josh Woning)Source:News Corp Australia
Arrow’s support didn’t stop there, with the Maroons workhorse calling for Blues coach Brad Fittler to pick Latrell Mitchell after the Rabbitohs fullback lit up Round with two try assists and four line-break assists.
While everyone marvelled at his attacking nous, it was a defensive play that convinced Arrow that Mitchell had done enough to earn an Origin recall.
“There was a moment when Latrell made a few tackles in the middle and then went across and took Maika Sivo out,” he said.
“That’s pretty inspirational when you’ve got your fullback doing that. I saw him after we scored a try and said to him ‘that’s what we need from you. That’s unbelievable’.
“That was a little moment where we needed Latrell, and Origin is built on little moments.
“He plays for the other team – and hopefully he gets picked – but I think he’s an Origin player. He’s a pretty special kid, and that was a moment that shows why he deserves to get picked.”
Arrow was one of the few Origin hopefuls who avoided the ire of the referees on Saturday night, but there was a suggestion he too could be in doubt after he sat on the bench for the final 31 minutes and was seen limping from the field.
However, Queensland fans have nothing to worry about.
“My arse was hanging out at halftime, but I’m fine,” he said.
“I played the next 10 minutes of the second half and didn’t go back on. I didn’t question it and just bided my time. I got out of the game unscathed with no injuries, so that’s the most important thing.”
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