Saints assistant blasts chicken wing tackle

St Helens assistant coach Kieron Purtill has hit out against the chicken-wing tackle after prop James Graham was ruled out of Friday’s clash with Catalans.

Graham was injured in a tackle by Leeds’ back-rower Jamie Jones-Buchanan last weekend and will miss their final regular season game due to the shoulder pain he sustained.

Now Purtill believes that the RFL and coaches around the league must move quickly to outlaw the tackle.

“You expect bumps and bruises in a game when it is played fair, but Jammer will miss out of this week’s game because of an illegal chicken wing tackle,” he said. “It is touch and go for him. There are players on top of him in the tackle and there are four attempts to bend his shoulder back.
 
“It is a tackle technique that is taught to damage players and unfortunately for us, he will miss the game this week. Jones Buchanan gets one game and Jammer misses one game for something he hasn’t done.
 
“The RFL say they want to clamp down on the chicken wing; and this injury shows what happens when the tackle is used in practice. But that is up to the Disciplinary I suppose. Maurie [Fa’asavalu] was banned for one game because of an accidental and unintentional tackle. Buchanan had four attempts at Graham’s shoulder… but that is up to the Disciplinary to adjudicate.
 
“It also has to be in coaching philosophy though. The RFL are trying to outlaw it, but you shouldn’t be teaching that tackling practice and method in your training. We don’t do that here as we wouldn’t want it to happen to one of our players.”
 
Purtill says that a chicken wing tackle also looks to have ended the Saints’ career of Jason Cayless.
 
“Yeah, it looks like he has played his last game for St Helens. He is unlikely to get back this year with an injured shoulder. He was tackled at Wakefield and looks like he has lost his season because of the implications from a tackle.”

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