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“The NRL is leaving itself open to legal action”: Rothfield

29 Aug 22, 1:59PM 0 Comments

Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk

Photo by Getty Images

Last Friday night the Melbourne Storm faced the Sydney Roosters in a tight contest that was played at a high intensity and had some brutal moments throughout.

The Roosters ultimately held on to win 18-14 in what could be a preview of this year’s Grand Final.

Over the past few seasons these two clubs have partaken in some epic encounters but this one, in particular, has to take the cake for the most noteworthy moments, including Melbourne forward Nelson Asofa-Solomona’s elbow to the face of Roosters rising star Joseph Suaalii.

Asofa-Solomona has escaped suspension for the incident meaning he will be available to play in the Storm’s final round clash with the Parramatta Eels on Thursday night that will determine who will finish in the top four alongside the Panthers, Sharks and Cowboys.

His only punishment will be a $3,000 fine.

The Daily Telegraph’s Phil “Buzz” Rothfield has blasted the match review committee for not suspending Asofa-Solomona and recently spoke to 2003 NRL premiership winner Martin Lang, who believes that the NRL could face legal action in the future.

“I spoke to Martin Lang yesterday, who is a really intelligent fellow who has studied neuroscience and is conducting research into brain injuries from contact sport,” said Rothfield on the Big Sports Breakfast.

“He raised a really interesting point that the fact that players like Nelson Asofa-Solomona are repeat offenders, have been found guilty of foul play ten times in the last three years, but keeps getting away with fines.

“Lang is of the opinion that there will be litigation on a grand scale, that it is a legal time bomb, further down the track a good lawyer will get hold of a player who is suffering from the after-effects of concussion and point out there was not a duty of care while he was playing football.”

Rothfield then went on to back up the point made by Lang.

“I agree with Martin Lang, that down the track, I am not saying it is going to happen in the next year or two years, but down the track the NRL is leaving itself open to legal action,” said Rothfield.

The physical welfare of players has become one of the NRL’s highest priorities in the modern era with multiple rule changes and protocols being introduced to try and limit incidents occurring that could have a lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of the game’s athletes.

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