Sam Moa rejects ‘dirty’ tag over Thurston tackle

Sydney Roosters prop forward Sam Moa has hit back after being branded ‘dirty’ following a late hit on Johnathan Thurston last weekend in the trans-Tasman Test. 

Moa was criticised for a late shot on Thurston in the game between Australia and New Zealand and has come under scrutiny from Cowboys head coach Paul Green over the tackle. 

However, the Roosters forward is adamant that his intentions were not in an attempt to be dirty or to hurt Thurston, but admits to being late into the tackle. 

“I heard that Paul Green had a go at me,” Moa told the Sydney Morning Herald. 

“To be honest I’ll cop it…it was late. But did I intent to charge in there and give Johnathan whiplash? No. Did I try and do my job as a middle player trying to put pressure on ballplayers taking it to the line? Yes. I do agree it was a tad late, but there has been a few opinions going around that I purposely went after Thurston which is a load of rubbish.

“I think Johnathan is easily the best player in the world at the moment and will probably go down in history as probably the best player in the history of the game. I’ve got to do my job when any half wants to take the ball to the line. Unofrtunately on the weekend it didn’t go to plan and it was late. I’ll cop that but I won’t cop that I’m a dirty player and I went after him, which is rubbish.”

Andrew Johns has also been critical of the former Hull FC man since the hit, but Moa has rejected the criticism that the hit was out to harm the Australian half back.

“Joey is probably just saying that because he’s been in the same position at halfback,” Moa told the Sydney Morning Herald. 

“I think if you watch the footage I pulled out a little bit. I could have kept charging full speed and knocked him but I actually pulled out. If the criticism is coming from the player himself, Johnathan Thurston, I’ll cop that because I’ve got a lot of respect for him but others who are trying to have a go at my character, I think it’s uncalled for.”

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