Immortal Wally Lewis has slammed the judiciary’s “ridiculous” call to give Felise Kaufusi a four-match ban for his hit on Jackson Hastings at the weekend.
The Dolphins enforcer fronted the judiciary on Tuesday in an attempt to have an initial three-match ban downgraded, but was unsuccessful and had a week added on.
Lewis was left baffled by the decision, and hit back at suggestions that Kaufusi was a dirty player.
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“Absolutely ridiculous,” he told Wide World of Sports’ QLDER about the judiciary verdict.
“Sure he deserved a bit of a suspension, he deserved to face the judiciary, it was a little bit high.
“I don’t think I’ve ever regarded Kaufusi as a dirty player, a guy that comes up with too many plays like this.
“To see that that was worth four weeks, I was expecting he might get a week maximum.
“I’m not standing up for illegal play on the field, but I have just never seen him to be one of those players before. Sure accidents happen and you do deserve to pay a penalty, but four weeks for that one? Wow.
“Some players from my day if they were playing today they’d be getting penalised five years for some of the things they did on the field.
“We’ve got to clean the game up, but I don’t think he went in there with any extreme intent to damage on wherever he was heading.”
Kaufusi sin binned over brutal Hastings hit
An outstanding half in his heydey, Broncos icon Darren Lockyer said he’d been in Hastings’ position many times, and welcomed playmakers being protected.
“I’m supportive of the game having that mandate around trying to make the game as safe as possible,” he told QLDER.
“I remember myself as a ball player passing the ball, you turn, you relax, and you get hit in the back.
“A lot of coaches – and I don’t think they do it anymore because you get suspended – but they’d say to the backrowers or forwards; if a playmaker passes the ball, take him out so he can’t set it up for the next one. I guess coaches now probably don’t say that.
“I remember a few times just getting burners in my shoulders because of the whiplash action.”
However, Lockyer questioned the double-standards between Kaufusi’s lengthy ban and the fine dished out to Roosters youngster Joseph Suaalii for a similar late shot on Bulldogs playmaker Jeremy Marshall-King earlier this month.
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“There’s a very fine line,” he said.
“If you isolate the Kaufusi one with Joseph Suaalii, that doesn’t marry up, four weeks for (Kaufusi) and a fine for (Suaalii).
“But I guess given his background with that particular tackle, it’s worked against him.”
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