The Panthers could be without star halfback Nathan Cleary next round after an ugly tackle on Broncos playmaker Billy Walters was put on report.
With 14 minutes left to go at BlueBet Stadium, Cleary attempted to tackle Walters one-on-one, using his leg as leverage to take the 28-year-old to the ground.
Walters bent awkwardly on his way down and the Penrith gun was quick to check on his halves counterpart before he got up to play the ball.
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While it was clear something was wrong with the wrestling tackle, Fox League’s panel of experts were confused as to what Cleary could be charged with
“They are only new to the game, we don’t really have certain cases where they are black and white for us,” Gorden Tallis said.
“It has only just come in and it doesn’t look like the others, he looked like he tried to trap his legs.
“The players are doing it to each other, all these wrestling moves.”
Fox League’s Greg Alexander explained what a hip-drop tackle is and Tallis agreed, the tackle on Walters didn’t fit into the category.
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“That is not a hip-drop, a hip-drop is where your weight comes from behind and lands on the back of the legs of the player,” Alexander said.
“I don’t think that is classic, and we don’t know because it is such a new tackle in our game that I don’t know how to grade them, but that doesn’t look like the classic hip drop that I have watched so far,” Tallis said.
“He has used his leg as leverage, you know to drag Billy (Walters) back over his leg,” Alexander added.
“Billy got up and played the ball, thank goodness.”
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Coach and father Ivan was also confused when speaking about the moment in the post-match press conference, going as far to say “I don’t know what he was put on report for”.
“It definitely wasn’t a hip-drop because it was a one man tackle. I don’t know the exact definition of a hip drop, but it is basically when someone is tackled and then… I mean I don’t know. It was more like a Cumberland throw maybe,” Cleary said.
When asked if he would be worried about losing his son for a week, Cleary said he was, but explained that sometimes tackles that aren’t illegal can turn out awkward.
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