Manly forward Nate Myles has called on the NRL to ban the open-handed slap, saying players should be sin-binned just as they are for punching.
Myles’ Sea Eagles teammate Daly Cherry-Evans was on the end of a hard opened-handed hit from Canterbury enforcer David Klemmer in Manly’s 36-0 flogging of the Bulldogs on Saturday.
Klemmer was penalised for the hit, but remained on the field and was not charged by the match review committee.
Myles is better qualified than most when it comes to on-field hits and the ramifications in rule changes from the NRL.
He copped the closed fist of Paul Gallen in the 2013 State of Origin series, an act which saw punching immediately outlawed from the game.
And he said it’s time the NRL took the same sort of action on slapping.
“I don’t think the game should allow or compensate whether it’s a slap or a punch,” Myles said.
“It’s just stupid.
“If you walk down the street and punch someone and slap someone, it’s the same sort of judgment.”
Myles saved some criticism for the Bulldogs enforcer too.
Klemmer was the only Bulldogs forward to top 100 running metres, and Myles suggested the hit would have come out of some serious frustration at his performance.
“I suppose it’s a little bit different when you’re a front-rower and your halfback gets slapped,” he said when asked how he felt about the hit.
“I would probably be a little bit different if I was their halfback and their forwards weren’t doing their job too.
“So if he wants to concentrate on that, that’s his game.”
Cherry-Evans, meanwhile, refused to be drawn into the controversy.
When asked his thoughts on why the NSW Origin forward escaped suspension, he appeared puzzled.
“I don’t know to be honest,” he said.
“It’s probably a question for the NRL.”
Cherry-Evans said there had been nothing in the lead-up to the heavy hit to provoke the matter, and understood it just came out of frustration
He also said he had not received an apology from Klemmer, but did not expect one as the pair were not close friends or anything other than rugby league acquaintances.
“It’s rugby league – we’re playing a man’s sport,” he said.
“I’m big enough and ugly enough to cop a slap. My dad hit me harder growing up.”