Radley rips NRL crackdown after failed appeal

Sydney Roosters pair Angus Crichton and Victor Radley will both miss the State of Origin opener on June 9 after failing to have their charges overturned at the NRL judiciary.

Crichton was found guilty of his grade one dangerous contact charge for a late shot on Albert Kelly and received a two-match ban, while Radley’s grade two careless high tackle charge for a hit on Broncos star Tevita Pangai Jr was also upheld, resulting in a four-match suspension.

The failure to have the careless high tackle charge overturned, coupled with the one-match suspension Radley had already accepted for his own tackle on Kelly in the Roosters’ 34-16 loss to the Broncos means he will miss a total of five NRL matches as well the first two State of Origin matches.

After failing to have his case overturned in a marathon 70-minute hearing, Radley took a swipe at the NRL over its recent crackdown on head contact, rubbishing claims that he needed to alter his style of tackling.

“I don’t think my tackling style needs to be changed,” he said. “I’m really confident and happy with my tackling style.

“I’ve been taught from a very young age by very good coaches – Adrian Lam, Craig Fitzgibbon – a very good tackling style.

“Just because they decide to change the rules midway through the season, doesn’t mean I have to change my tackling style.”

Despite Radley’s defence lawyer James McLeod stating that the contact made to Pangai Jr was “fleeting and incidental”, NRL counsel Peter McGrath was able to convince the judiciary otherwise.

McGrath stated that Radley had made “direct contact with the side of (Pangai Jr’s) head, elevated both feet after impact with force that is at least moderate with moderate risk of injury to the head or neck”.

Meanwhile, carry-over points from three separate incidents in the last two seasons elevated Crichton’s sanction from a potential fine to a two-match suspension.

Considered by many to be a lock for Brad Fittler’s Blues side for the series opener, Crichton admitted he was disappointed but said he had to be accountable for his actions.

“It’s a tough one to take,” he said.

“It was a genuine mistake. My vision was impaired and I didn’t know Albert Kelly had the ball. It’s upsetting I’ll miss games for that.

“In the end I’m the one who has to be accountable for my actions, it’s disappointing to miss games and let my teammates down.”

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