Paul Crawley and Ray Hadley have delivered a withering warning shot to NRL players attempting to oust ARL commission chair Peter V’landys.
A number of leading players have being agitating behind the scenes and asking questions about how easy it would be remove V’landys.
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They are said to be unhappy with how V’landys administration has rushed through law changes and the implementation of the new crackdown on headhigh contact.
Speaking on NRL360, The Daily Telegraph’s Crawley said the likes of RLPA spokesman Daly Cherry-Evans needed to have a good hard look at themselves and be thankful for V’landys.
“I was bewildered with what Daly Cherry-Evans had to say after the game on Sunday, and the fact that he said, ‘Peter V’landys has always said he’s a man for the players, so let’s see you do it Pete, let’s see you be a man of the players’,” Crawley said.
“Well last year, Peter V’landys saved the players and saved the game $400 million.
“$400 million so Daly Cherry-Evans can have his $1.2 million salary and all the players could keep their jobs and around the country and around the world good people, men, women, children, were losing their jobs left, right, and centre, and V’landys kept this game afloat.
“And this year, we started off the season with terrible, terrible concussions injuries to James Tedesco and Ryan Papenhuyzen, we had the knees in the back to Drew Hutchison, so people are complaining at the moment that this should have happened over the summer, I will guarantee that if it happened over the summer, we still would have had the same complaints in Round 1, 2, 3, 4, but now, I will ask you this, these penalties that we’re seeing at the moment, are they any worse than what we were seeing a month ago?
“What’s worse for the image of the game that we’re seeing as the future of the game? Is this worse, or are some of these incidental penalties?
“Without the crackdown, it wouldn’t have moved forward. It’s like (Wayne) Bennett said the other day, all the people involved in running the game 10 or 12 years ago, they sat down and they said we’re going to get rid of the headhigh tackles, and they all walked out of the room and nothing ever changed.
“And it got worse and worse and worse, to the start of this season, it was out control, and so V’landys had to do something and I reckon he and the referees have gone overboard, but like Ray said a moment ago, they’re pulling back and eventually we will have a better game going forward than we had previously.”
Hadley, meanwhile, said that players were running the risk of doing themselves more damage by resisting the changes.
“The point of all this is yes, there’ll be accidents,” he said.
“There’ll be players tackling big men who get their head in the wrong spot. That will always be part of the game.
“We’re talking about careless, reckless and occasionally intentional (tackles). It has to be eliminated from the game.
“But deliberate or semi-deliberate acts that maim people around the head, they have to stop.
“I’ve been broadcasting the game for almost 40 years and I love the game, I love watching the game, but I don’t like seeing young men knocked out by headhigh tackles and it has to stop.
“For DCE and all the other players from the RLPA and the rest of it – pull your heads in and back him.
“Yes have a tantrum about not being consulted, but get over it. It’s for your own sake.
“You don’t want to be in a dementia ward in 10 or 20 or 30 years. Suck it up and see.”