Nathan Brown and Mike Walters are embroiled in a war of words over 'cannonball' tackle

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Nathan Brown and Mike Walters are embroiled in a war of words over ‘cannonball’ tackle from Jazz Tevaga as Warriors boss warns Broncs coach: ‘They did things out of the text book themselves’

  • Nathan Brown and Mike Walters have been locked in a war of words
  • The coaches clashed over a ‘cannonball’ tackle by Jazz Tevaga on Saturday 
  • Thomas Flegler sin binned for completely legal tackle versus Warriors 
  • Fans and commentators were in disbelief over ref Chris Sutton’s call
  • Flegler was placed on report a staggering four times in the game on Saturday
  • Bronco could be in big trouble for hip drop tackle that didn’t warrant a sin bin 

Nathan Brown and Mike Walters were embroiled in a war of words as the fallout over a potential ‘cannonball’ tackle continued on Saturday night. 

Broncos forward Thomas Flegler was placed on report in the seventh minute, then twice more in the 20th minute, just before he was given 10 in the bin by referee Chris Sutton after an innocuous hit on Josh Curran.

Flegler was the second man in on the tackle after Jazz Tevaga and it appeared Sutton believed it was a ‘cannonball’ hit in which a player smashes an opponent in the legs while he’s being held up – but the contact was clearly around the hips.

Nathan Brown said the Broncs should be 'careful'

MW

Nathan Brown and Mike Walters were embroiled in a war of words after Saturday’s NRL clash

‘He hits him around the shorts line, which he’s able to do,’ explained Fox commentator Shane Flanagan, who also had no problem with the shot on Fonua-Blake. 

That was the third offence Flegler was reported for. The one immediately beforehand saw him crash into Warriors forward Addin Fonua-Blake, but the impact wasn’t severe and the Bronco pulled up and held onto his opponent to lessen the effect.

After the game – in which the Warriors ran out 20-6 winners – Broncs coach Walters had his say on the big hit, leading to a frosty response from Warriors counterpart Brown. 

‘Yeah well, not so good again, but it is a tough game,’ Walters said of the tackle on Carrigan. 

‘It is hard to sort of answer. Paddy (Carrigan) is in there now. He will be missing for I don’t know how long.

Referee Chris Sutton (right) had fans and commentators in disbelief when he gave Flegler (left) 10 minutes in the bin for a completely legal tackle

Referee Chris Sutton (right) had fans and commentators in disbelief when he gave Flegler (left) 10 minutes in the bin for a completely legal tackle

Flegler (right) climbs off the ground after his hit on Josh Curran (in headgear). Former premiership-winning coach Shane Flanagan found no fault with the tackle

Flegler (right) climbs off the ground after his hit on Josh Curran (in headgear). Former premiership-winning coach Shane Flanagan found no fault with the tackle

‘He will get some scans, but probably a good month or so I’m sure. It is not great.’

Brown responded: ‘Honestly because of where we are I didn’t get a good look at the big screen.

‘I’ve actually got no idea, but we will cross our fingers it is OK. I haven’t actually seen it.

‘But they should be careful of criticising us because they had a few things that they did themselves that were a bit out of the text book.

‘I won’t be getting into any slanging match or having a go at anyone. It was a hard game. A few blokes may have got a few things wrong, but I don’t think people were going out there to deliberately get it wrong.’ 

Fans were quick to slam the sin bin call on social media.  

At halftime Fox commentators Michael Ennis and Braith Anasta were incredulous that Flegler was given 10.

‘That was completely legal … Flegler didn’t deserve to go to the sin bin,’ Ennis said of the so-called ‘cannonball’ hit that led to the Bronco getting his marching orders.

He described Sutton putting Flegler on report for the Fonua-Blake hit as ’embarrassing’. 

But it was a very different story when Flegler hit Ben Murdoch-Masila with a hip-drop tackle in the 71st minute.

Flegler (left) was placed on report a staggering four times in the game against the Warriors - and should be in big trouble with the judiciary for a hip-drop tackle

Flegler (left) was placed on report a staggering four times in the game against the Warriors – and should be in big trouble with the judiciary for a hip-drop tackle

Flegler carts it up for the Broncos, who turned in an insipid effort to fall to the Warriors 20-6

Flegler carts it up for the Broncos, who turned in an insipid effort to fall to the Warriors 20-6

He was placed on report for the fourth time in the match for the dangerous hit, which was similar to the shot from St George’s Tyrell Fuimaono that ended Parramatta winger Haze Dunster’s year in the preseason.

Fox commentator Warren Smith was aghast at the tackle and couldn’t believe it when Flegler was allowed to remain on the field.

He predicted the Broncos enforcer would be in deep trouble with the judiciary over the shot, which could have resulted in serious injury to Murdoch-Masila. 

A disjointed and disorganised Brisbane were outplayed by the Warriors in a 20-6 defeat that has made their good early season form in wins over the Bunnies and Bulldogs a distant memory. 

‘They have slumped back to the sort of form they have limped through in 2020 and 2021,’ Smith said. 

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