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Former MRP chief defends Nic Natainui

Former Match Review Panel Chairman and umpires boss Peter Schwab believes Nic Naitanui should not have been suspended for his tackle on Karl Amon.

Naitanui has copped a one-week ban for the tackle, which Match Review Officer Michael Christian deemed as rough conduct, and graded as careless, medium impact and high contact.

According to Schwab, it’s hard to clarify if the star West Coast ruckman was trying to hurt Amon in the tackle.

“I steer a little bit towards not putting that up,” he told SEN’s Whateley.

“I hear the arguments that it’s a duty of care and I fully appreciate that and I don’t want anyone to get seriously injured.

“I don’t know if Nic was necessarily reckless in what he did.

“I watched it and I thought his follow-up, which he always does because he is such a powerful athlete, I thought it happened so quickly that I didn’t really see a second action to drive the player into the turf.

“I’m all for that secondary action where you whip them around or you definitely drive them in. I’m not sure Nic actually did that.

“He is a powerful man, that’s not his fault and he is so quick. I don’t think you can categorically say that he acted recklessly in what he did because it happened so quickly.”

A few years ago, Schwab was involved in a crackdown on dangerous tackles, and he thinks Naitanui’s action doesn’t fall into those guidelines.

“My understanding of it was always that it was a secondary action with force,” he said.

“That you had the player wrapped up and then you actually really, forcefully, whipped him around and took him into the ground.

“Did Nic really do that with intent to hurt and take him into the turf? I don’t know if you can argue that 100 percent.”

The Eagles have until 11am this morning to determine whether or not they’ll challenge Naitanui’s ban at the tribunal.

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Originally published on SEN.com.au