Queensland’s Brent Tate has called for the NRL to crack down on dangerous tackles after being cartwheeled by two NSW players in the State of Origin opener.
Queensland winger Brent Tate feared he would suffer a similar devastating injury to Alex McKinnon after being the victim of a dangerous tackle at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.
Tate made an emotional plea for rugby league officials to come down hard on lifting tackles after being cartwheeled by NSW pair Josh Reynolds and Beau Scott in the State of Origin opener, won 12-8 by the Blues.
“I’ve never been more frightened in all my life,” Tate said after the thrilling match in Brisbane.
“My legs were shaking for a good 10 minutes after that.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been as scared in a rugby league match as that. I didn’t know where I was. We’re trying to stamp this sort of stuff out.
“I had absolutely no control of where I was going. It gave me a big fright.”
Reynolds was charged with a grade-two dangerous throw after being the main offender in lifting and flipping Tate on his back.
The Blues’ five-eighth will be banned for two matches if he takes an early guilty plea and, with his club Canterbury having the bye this weekend, he will miss Origin II in Sydney on June 18 unless he is successful in having the charge downgraded.
NSW back-rower Scott was hit with a grade-one charge and will escape suspension if he takes the early plea.
Newcastle utility forward McKinnon suffered a serious spinal injury after a tackle gone horribly wrong in March in a match against Melbourne.
Storm forward Jordan McLean later copped a seven-match ban for a dangerous throw.
“My family came down and said the last thing they want to do is be sitting beside my bed like an Alex McKinnon situation,” said Tate, who has been plagued by neck problems during his career.
“You can’t have it in our game. It’s got to stop. The NRL has to get serious and start cracking down on it.
“We’ve already had an unfortunate incident. Are we going to be sitting beside someone else’s bed before we crack down on it again?”.
Queensland players rushed in to support Tate but the situation was quickly defused.
“Tatey was pretty rattled when he was on the ground,” Maroons forward Corey Parker said.
“He’s a good mate of mine and my main concern was to make sure he was OK.”
NSW skipper Paul Gallen downplayed the incident, saying Tate was put in a dangerous position but “landed flat on his back”.