Rugby League


Canberra Raiders share their thoughts on Paul Gallen's grip

It's the Canberra Raiders "tackle" everyone's been talking about on social media, but it's not fullback Jack Wighton's incredible match-winning effort in Sunday's 24-20 win over the Cronulla Sharks.

Sharks skipper Paul Gallen was caught with his hand down the pants of Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson on Sunday, despite being in attack and carrying the ball with the other hand.

But the Raiders have eased any possible tension, down-playing suggestions it was an illegal tactic.

There has been talk Wighton's reactive punch-on with Sharks winger Sosaia Feki late in the match, which caused both players to be sin-binned, was the result of "niggling tactics".

But asked if Raiders players had raised any concerns with each other about getting grabbed on the groin by Sharks players, Canberra five-eighth Blake Austin smirked.


"I'm not too sure. Hodgo said there wouldn't be much to find down there," Austin said, laughing.

"Jack didn't speak too much about it [the punch-up], I think he was a little bit disappointed that he let us down a little bit. But he came up with that tackle at the end of the game [on Mitch Brown] that sealed the match for us, I think he was brilliant."

Once the photo surfaced on social media, Gallen responded via Twitter: "I think if u see it not in freeze frame there is nothing in it." He then went on to share a joke with others who teased his choice of words.

The Raiders also made fun of the situation on social media, tweeting the picture and writing that Hodgson had "proved to be a real 'handful' for Paul Gallen." 

It's not the first time Gallen has had to handle such a sensitive situation.

In 2008, Gallen was fuming after Gold Coast Titans utility Josh Graham accused the Sharks forward of grabbing and squeezing his "wheels".

The complaint was examined by the NRL's match review committee, but Gallen was cleared because of a lack of evidence.

We really should leave it alone, right there.