Fuming Joey fires up at league’s ‘BS’ crackdown

League legend Andrew Johns has been left speechless by the league’s continued crackdown on high-shots after the Cowboys were left with 11-men when two of their best were sent to the bin.

First was Jason Taumalolo, who was shown the sidelines after he clipped Tyson Frizell with a stray arm across the nose that left him bloodied.

Minutes later, teammate Lachlan Burr followed suit in an innocuous incident, sent to the bin for the second time in as many weeks.

It left the Cowboys scrambling with 11-men as the Knights were able to ease their way back into the contest by half-time after coughing up an 16-point lead.

Taumalolo clips Frizell. (Nine)

The Cowboys were eventually able to move away with the win, but the whole sequence left Johns at a loss for words, as he sounded the crisis button ahead of State of Origin.

“What is happening? He just puts a loose arm out, honestly, it wouldn’t bruise a grape,” Johns said on Nine’s coverage of Thursday night footy.

“It just takes the whole contest out of the game. Watching the game, the contest and how the game is playing out, I just feel deflated watching it.

“It’s going to continue, and if someone loses an Origin series or a grand final for this, I just, I don’t know what we want the game to be…they’ve made their bed.

“Coming into Origin III, the game is on the line, the series is on the line, there’s more fatigue in the game. They can trot out all the spin and BS they want at the NRL. The players are under more fatigue because of the six-to-go.

“Defence is about footwork, under fatigue, game on the line, everything at stake – you get wrong-footed in the grand final with 10 minutes to go in desperation you clip someone, the contest goes out of it.

“It’s a brutal game, I just don’t know, mate, I just don’t know. I’m sitting here just scratching my head.”

Andrew Johns was at a loss for words over the league’s continued crackdown in round 11. (Nine)

Earlier this week, NRL boss Peter V’landys revealed the league’s new crackdown was aimed at reinventing the game’s image as a safe sport to increase participation rates at grassroots level.

“The biggest issue for rugby league is participation,” V’landys told Phil Gould in a special sit-down interview on Nine’s 100% Footy.

“All our key metrics, like it or not, in the juniors are down. And when you take into account the significant increase in the population rate, we haven’t kept up with that. In real terms, we are even worse.

V’landys defends NRL crackdown in tell-all interview

“I don’t care what anyone says, when you watch an NRL match, that is your perception of the game. That is what mothers perceive. They don’t go watching junior rugby league. And you’re right, we should go and promote that junior rugby league is safe. But the Commission’s prime objective at the moment is to increase participation, we’re going to do everything in our power to do so.”

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