What’s this then? Are reports that rugby players have taken a page from the soccer players’ handbook and taken to diving at the lightest contact to be given credence?
Paul Gallen, veteran of 286 NRL games with last year’s premiers, the Cronulla Sharks, is under the harsh spotlight of what some feel was a LeBron James-worthy flop, or a dive not seen since last August’s 10-metre platform competition at the Rio Olympics.
Aaron Woods brushed Gallen following a play the ball, and Gallen hit the deck so hard that it appeared as though he had stepped into the car park and straight into the path of a lorry.
The play went to the bunker for review, and to any and all with a modicum of common sense, would seemingly have been declared a non-incident, but the ruling was that Gallen had been obstructed, which led to a James Tedesco try for the Wests Tigers being disallowed.
In another game, Canterbury’s Kerrod Holland was denied the first try of the game when the brain trust in the bunker decided that in the lead up, Ray Thompson of the NQ Cowboys was crushed beyond description by a brush from Josh Jackson.
This sort of incident, unsavoury under any circumstances, is even more so when it affects game outcomes and we might be inclined to suggest that some rugby players consider a hop to the no-hands football codes.