South Sydney Rabbitohs star Taane Milne has been crucified by fans and pundits for his high shot on Penrith Panthers prop Spencer Leniu, in a horrendous tackle that has landed the winger with a six-game ban.
As the weekend’s game between Rabbitohs and Penrith entered its final stages, Leniu had burst through the Bunnies' defensive line and looked destined to score before Milne came over from the wing to take him out with a swinging left arm.
Copping a forearm square to the head, the Penrith player was left dazed and slightly confused, as referee Ashley Klein had no choice but to give Milne his marching orders.
Clearly upset with Milne's move, Leniu went to confront the winger as the pair made their way from the field, almost coming to blows.
There was little sympathy for the Rabbitohs star, who has had a poor disciplinary record this past season, including being sin-binned twice against the Roosters in their elimination win.
And unsurprisingly, Milne was slammed by players, fans, and pundits alike.
Former NRL star Braith Anasta asked: “Is that the worst shot you have ever seen? That was a shocking tackle.”
Gordon Tallis and Andrew Johns insisted that such tackles had no place in the game for many decades now.
The ‘Raging Bull’ told Fox League: “Seriously, that tackle got outlawed in 1980, if he says that he is not thinking it is even worse.”
Whilst Johns told Channel Nine: “He’s lucky he didn’t break his arm, the way he hit him… that’s a send-off in the 1970s.”
New South Wales coach Brad Fittler branded the tackle ‘totally careless and reckless’.
Meanwhile, former Broncos legend Corey Parker noted that Milne’s recent disciplinary record poses another challenge for his own teammates.
He added: “It is an area of Taane Milne’s game he needs to eradicate, he needs to put it away, two weeks earlier he was put in the sin bin twice and here sent off.
“If you are playing with someone like that, it puts your team under so much pressure, off the back of that it makes it really difficult.”
Absolutely disgusting from Souths. Had to go. What a cheap shot from Milne. Souths Played that garbage against the Roosters. Won’t get away with it tonight. #NRLPanthersSouths— Robert Grasso (@RobertGrasso) September 24, 2022
Penrith lock Issah Yeo unsurprisingly wasn’t a fan of the ‘tackle’ either when speaking post-game.
He said: “[Leniu’s] a tough thing.
"He's not going to stay down. He's usually chipping blokes if they stay down. He's obviously not going to stay down for no reason. It copped him flush.
“I feel like he got warned last game Taane too. It's happened a couple of times now. He had every chance to drop his arm or make contact somewhere else but he flushed him in the head.”
Despite Milne copping a six-game ban from the NRL, he could only miss two of those games at the start of next season.
With his selection for Fiji at the upcoming World Cup he could be poised to serve four of the six games at international level.
Featured Image Credit: NRL/Supplied. NRL on Nine/Twitter.
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