Steve Bennett rounds up the fall out from NRL Round 3 as Jason Taylor is sacked by the Wests Tigers.
WESTS TIGERS SACK HEAD COACH TAYLOR
The Wests Tigers have sacked head coach Jason Taylor, effective immediately. The club released a statement on Monday afternoon making the bold decision to release Taylor based on the poor start to the season.
Tigers Chairwoman Marina Go said the decision wasn’t an easy one.
“On behalf of everyone at the Wests Tigers I’d like to thank Jason for his commitment and contribution to the club during his time as head coach,” she said.
“Our position has always been to make sure that the head coach’s contract is tied to performance and that hasn’t changed.”
The Tigers started the season with a shock win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs but then fell badly to the Panthers, kept try-less in that match and last Sunday were beaten by 40 by the Canberra Raiders.
So, after two early season losses, the Tigers club has reached the decision that a new head coach is now needed.
Current Wests Tigers assistant coach Andrew Webster takes on the role of interim coach until a replacement for Taylor is announced.
The man most fancied to get the job is former Warriors and Panthers coach Ivan Cleary, who remained tight-lipped when contacted by the Daily Telegraph increasing speculation that he will in fact replace Taylor.
His brief reply when asked was: “Thanks mate, but I’ve got nothing to report”.
NRL DISH OUT $350,000 IN CONCUSSION FINES
The Gold Coast Titans, St George Illawarra Dragons and Newcastle Knights are all recipients of Breach Notices that were handed out by the NRL for breaches to the new concussion laws.
The Titans are in receipt of the biggest fine of $150,000 after being accused of three separate breaches involving Kane Elgey, Joe Greenwood and Ryan Simpkins.
The Dragons copped a $100,000 notice for an incident involving fullback Josh Dugan while the Knights were also hit with a $100,000 breach for Brendan Elliot’s incident.
NRL CEO Todd Greenburg said there is no more important issue in the game today as player safety and he was satisfied that all three clubs had failed to follow the concussion rules over the weekend.
“These are by far the biggest fines ever imposed by the game for concussion breaches, that is how seriously we take it,” Greenburg said
“The clubs involved have the opportunity to respond to the Breach Notices and we will consider those responses, but our message is clear... we are not going to allow player safety to be put at risk through breaches of the concussion rules.”
Greenburg finished by saying that the respective clubs have five business days to respond to the Breach Notices.
THREE RABBITOHS SUSPENDED
The South Sydney Rabbitohs have paid a very heavy price for their 24-18 win over the Newcastle Knights by losing three of their players to suspensions coming from separate incidents during the game.
George Burgess, Hymel Hunt and Braidon Burns have all taken early guilty pleas for charges imposed on them from Saturday’s game.
Hymel Hunt was charged with a grade two reckless high tackle and will miss four matches.
Braidon Burns was charged with a grade one shoulder charge and will miss one match.
George Burgess was charged with a grade two striking charge after making contact on an opponent with his elbow and will miss two matches.
With five regular first graders already out through injury, losing three more players has caused even more headaches for coach Michael Maguire who will be calling on all his reserves to field a side for their clash with the Sydney Roosters this Thursday.
COWBOYS SIGN JORDAN McLEAN
Melbourne Storm back-rower Jordan McLean is changing camps next year and will be moving to Townsville to take up a new three-year deal with the North Queensland Cowboys.
The Cowboys finalised the deal with the 25-year-old over the weekend and, with co-captain Matt Scott’s future in a cloud at the moment, the club will welcome the boost to their already depleted forward pack.
With Scott’s season ending ACL injury, the lucrative offer made by the Newcastle Knights may now be revisited as he also considers a reduced offer from the Cowboys.
With James Tamou released to the Penrith Panthers and Ben Hannant retired, the Cowboys will welcome the arrival of McLean.