Parramatta enforcer Tepai Moeroa has vowed to eradicate the shoulder charge from his game as the NRL cracks down on the tackling technique.
Moeroa is a major inclusion for the Eels’ round-five clash against Canberra on Saturday after serving a one-match ban for his illegal shot on Gold Coast halfback Ash Taylor in round three.
He will slot straight back into his customary spot on the left-edge, but not before promising coach Brad Arthur never to get in trouble for a shoulder charge again.
“He just said next time I apply pressure to just use my arms. Make sure my arms are involved – not just my shoulder. It was just a brain lapse. I won’t do it again,” Moeroa said.
The Eels second-rower is one of eight players charged by the match review committee over the opening four rounds of the season, with at least one player suspended each week.
A total of six players have served a combined nine weeks on the sidelines so far this season.
The crackdown comes after the lawmakers altered the shoulder charge laws in the pre-season, simplifying the definition to forceful contact and no use, or attempted use, of arms.
“But the rules are the rules. It’s our job to know them, even if they change. We’ve got to adapt to the rules as well,” he said.
Titans captain Ryan James was the first player to challenge a shoulder charge this week, successfully overturning the citing and is free to take on the Warriors this week.
Moeroa’s return is a huge boost for an Eels side that will front up against Canberra’s gargantuan forward pack, including new face Dave Taylor.
“Big… he’s strong too,” Moeroa said of Taylor.
“In one of the clips he’s getting up off the ground and threw someone off him. He’s abnormally strong. I think he’s nicknamed the Hulk. Hopefully we can contain the Hulk.
“It’d be a good challenge – they’ve got a very big and dominant pack. If we stop their go-forward, hopefully it’ll go to winning the game.”