Sport: Lodge under fire for ugly 'cheap shot' - PressFrom - Australia
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SportLodge under fire for ugly 'cheap shot'

22:21  14 march  2019
22:21  14 march  2019 Source:   wwos.ninemsn.com.au

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Lodge under fire for ugly 'cheap shot'© Nine Lodge tackles Munster late. Brisbane Broncos forward Matt Lodge was on the receiving end of criticism after a 'cheap shot' on Melbourne Storm star Cameron Munster.

In the first minute of the NRL season opener, Munster put up a regulation bomb on the fifth tackle.

Flying from the side though was Lodge, who made a late hit at the knees of Munster as his legs were in the air after the kick.

"You can't do that. It's a cheap shot," Nine NRL commentator and league legend Andrew Johns said during the broadcast.

"He can't protect himself. If you tackle like that, you have to go above [the knee].

"He dives at the knees. It's just dangerous."

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Lodge was penalised for the tackle, giving Melbourne prime position early in the game.

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Fellow Nine NRL commentator Paul Vautin said Munster was "stunned by the hit", and looked to writhe around in pain before shaking it off.

"It doesn't look good," Vautin said.

"He [Lodge] wasn't committed to that before he dived. It was a late call by Lodge."

Storm fullback Jahrome Hughes went on to score a try two sets of six later after another penalty for offside went against the Broncos.

After the Broncos' 22-12 loss to Melbourne, NRL officials told Nine reporter Danika Mason it is "likely" Lodge will be charged for the hit on Munster.

"You just can't do it," Johns said.

"The kicker can't defend himself. I saw him after the game, Matt Lodge, and the first thing he said, 'That was stupid what I did'.

"You don't like your kickers having cruciate ligament injuries and being out for the year.

"You've got to get it out of the game."

The seemingly 'harmless' tactic that needs to go.
NRL great Brad Fittler has called for the seemingly “harmless” tactic of taking kickers to ground to be stamped out of the game. The NSW Blues coach was quick to condemn Broncos forward Matt Lodge’s late hit on Melbourne’s Cameron Munster and assured the league was seeing less “dangerous” challenges to kickers, but Fittler called on referees to take it a step further. The seemingly innocuous tactic of taking a kicker lightly to ground after every effort is an insidious attempt to hinder the oppositions’ attacking game argued Fittler who wants to see harsher penalties for offending players.

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