ARLC chairman Peter V’landys has drummed down on why he’s so relentless in his crackdown on high shots, declaring “the game has to evolve” or else it “may not exist” in the future.
The unapologetic ARLC boss again copped a mountain of criticism in the most recent round of the season, as referees instructed by V’landys continued to deal out a glut of sin-bins and reports.
In the Broncos’ win over the Roosters alone, referee Peter Gough enforced four sin-bins and issued 10 reports. Roosters lock Victor Radley, described by Nine rugby league reporter Danny Weidler as “a tornado searching for a house to destroy”, was sent to the sin bin twice and reported four times.
V’landys had previously defended his crackdown by arguing that he had the welfare of players at the front of his mind, saying “you’ve got a lifetime in retirement”.
He had also admitted that a factor in his crackdown was the threat of players suing the NRL over concussion sustained in the competition.
V’landys again backed his concussion crusade in an interview on Sydney’s Nine News on Monday night.
“The game has to evolve. If it doesn’t evolve it won’t be a prime sport into future because it may not exist,” V’landys told Weidler.
“If we don’t take the action now, others will; governments will, and they’re starting to around the world with contact sports.
“We need to be in control of our destiny. And I think by making the hard decisions now, and showing that we can make the hard decisions ourselves, we won’t need governance or regulators to make the decisions.
“Even though it’s harsh at the moment it mightn’t be as harsh as the alternative.”
Fittler pleads with Radley to ‘go and change’ tackling style
When asked whether he likes what he’s seeing on the field in the NRL, V’landys gave a grim response.
“I find it very nerve-racking,” he said.
The head honcho was aggrieved at the sight of Dragons centre Tyrell Fuimaono’s high shot on Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen during Magic Round. The reigning Clive Churchill medallist lay motionless on the turf for several minutes and was stretchered from the ground.
Fuimaono was sent off for the 11th-minute incident and slapped with a five-match ban.
When asked for a response to Radley’s dramatic night at the SCG, V’landys was blunt.
“Victor, change your style,” he said.
“If you aim too high it’s going to get someone in the head.”
Rabbitohs premiership hooker Isaac Luke blasted the crackdown in a Twitter post on Sunday, suggesting rugby league had become touch footy.
V’landys found Luke’s comment ludicrous.
“I think that’s a gross exaggeration and sensationalism,” V’landys said.
“Did he watch the Manly-Parramatta match? I’m not sure any touch player would want to go and play in that match.”