NRL: Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan has defended Gallen in the fallout from Origin. The forward returns to the Sharks this weekend, along with Blues team mates James Moloney, Jack Bird and Andrew Fifita.
PAUL Gallen has hit out at match review officials, suggesting rival Sam Thaiday should have received more than two weeks for a tackle that landed the NSW State of Origin captain on his head.
Thaiday escaped with a grade-two dangerous throw charge for the first-half tackle in last Wednesday’s Origin clash and will be available for the third match after taking an early guilty plea. But Gallen, who needed treatment on his neck to be fit to play for Cronulla against the Warriors on Saturday night as a result of the incident, hinted two weeks wasn’t enough.
“The fact he got two weeks for that — I think he’s very lucky,” Gallen told Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast.
“For me that’s the definition of a spear tackle. It’s called a dangerous throw these days but I was in a deadset spear position, I was vertically upside down.
“Thankfully I came out of it okay and I’m not hurt because you don’t have to look too far back to see those things go wrong.” A grade three charge laid by the NRL’s match review committee would have seen Thaiday receive either four or five weeks depending on his plea, while a grade four would have attracted up to seven weeks and a grade five up to nine.
Gallen also vented his frustration surrounding the suspension of Cronulla teammate Wade Graham at the judiciary, who missed out on his Origin debut due to a one-week suspension.
In turn, Gallen suggested Thaiday would have received more weeks had the dangerous throw been on a star playmaker.
“I think it depends on who it is done on, I really do,” he said. “Wade Graham told me in his judiciary process when he was in there, all the talk from the prosecutor was the fact it was Johnathan Thurston.
“I’ve got a feeling if that wasn’t Johnathan Thurston, Wade Graham may not have even been charged.”