Penrith coach Ivan Cleary has cautioned against making knee-jerk changes to the NRL rulebook following the career-ending injury to Newcastle back-rower Alex McKinnon.
McKinnon is potentially facing paralysis after breaking his neck in a lifting tackle by Melbourne’s Jordan McLean last month.
The Knights slammed the NRL match review committee on Thursday for singling out McLean for his role in the three-man tackle that led to the incident, saying brothers Jesse and Kenny Bromwich should have also faced a judiciary hearing.
There have also been calls from medical experts to take lifting and third-man tackles out of the game as a result of McKinnon’s injuries, something Cleary is not convinced would be able to implement or for the long-term good of the sport.
“I’m not going to make any comment (on the Knights’ statement). It is an extremely sensitive issue and there has been too much said about it already,” Cleary said.
“The only things that matters is Alex’s wellbeing and that’s is all I want to say about that.
“I will say that if every time something happens in a game and we make a quick reaction to every incident then we are going to get ourselves in trouble.
“It’s not that simple. Whether it’s changing the third-man tackle, kicking it dead, it’s still a game and things happen.
“You can’t make it black and white.”
The NRL have already made a series of rules changes over the last two years and Cleary acknowledged outlawing the shoulder charge and the cannonball tackle were a good thing.
But he warned the NRL that continuing to tinker with the game year after year was not a good approach to take.
“Every time we make a change to the rule the game changes again,” he said.
“Players and coaches have to adjust to that. But it’s already a great game.
“It’s not too bad this year … but we always have to be mindful that if you make too many changes it takes a while for everyone to get used to it.
“By mid-season everyone is flowing nicely, then next season things are changes again and we’re back to square one … we have to be mindful of that.”