Not guilty as charged ... George Rose became the first player to be penalised for a shoulder charge in Saturday's All Stars match. Photo: Getty Images
MANLY prop George Rose believes his shoulder charge on Josh Morris in Saturday's NRL All Stars shouldn't constitute a penalty.
Rose became the first victim of the shoulder charge crackdown when he was penalised for flattening Morris to the Suncorp Stadium turf with a rattling shot.
The 116-kilogram Indigenous All Star believes there should be a leniency in the rules for shoulder charges that don't make contact with the head.
NRL All Stars clash
Willie Mason on the charge. Photo: Getty Images
''When it first happened, that was my thought, they didn't need to make it illegal, just crack down on the bad ones,'' Rose said.
''I didn't think there was any malice in my one tonight. It was an accident, obviously, but it felt good doing it. I usually have it happen to me; the one time I pull it off is when it was illegal. Straight away when I did it I thought, 'Oh shit.' ''
NRL All Stars coach Wayne Bennett said the reaction to Rose's hit was evidence the game has erred by banning the tackle.
''It was the most exciting part of the night - you tell me what got a bigger roar than that,'' Bennett said. ''Morris jumped up, he was fine, he didn't hit him in the head.
''There was a penalty but nobody wanted to see the penalty - they all loved the play. We are in the entertainment business. If the crowds keep roaring, then they [officials] will change their minds. They can be pretty flexible.''
For Bennett, the shoulder charge is not that complicated. ''There's no place for hitting in the head or neck,'' the Newcastle coach said. ''It's pretty simple. If you do that, you're going to do some time.
''The problem was the penalties weren't strong enough. With the lifting tackle, if you do one of those, you're looking between three and six weeks, maybe eight weeks. They have to do that with a shoulder charge when they make contact with the head or neck to send a message.''
Medical evidence was the overwhelming factor in why the NRL banned the crowd-pleasing tackle.
Canterbury's Krisnan Inu was also penalised for a shoulder charge on Newtown halfback Ben Jones in Sunday evening's match at Belmore Sports Ground.
In other news, South Sydney back-rower Michael Crocker has been appointed the Rabbitohs' sole captain for this year. Coach Michael Maguire opted to select five skippers last year but on Sunday confirmed Crocker as the club's only on-field captain for this season.
''We are one group here at the Rabbitohs and the players and staff decided that the way to go, in terms of leadership this year, was to have a leadership group directing things, with Michael to act as the captain on field and as a spokesperson off the field,'' Maguire said.
''Crock has demonstrated over a number of years that he is a strong leader on and off the field, and really acted in this role for the latter part of last season as it was.
''I'm delighted to be working with Michael at this level again and I'm looking forward to him and the leadership group developing their skills to lead further.''
Meanwhile, Melbourne have named their 21-man squad for this month's World Club Challenge against the Leeds Rhinos.
Craig Bellamy's troops will depart Melbourne on Monday without Kevin Proctor and Matt Duffie, both missing through injury.
Veteran Brett Finch has earned a position in the squad. So too has Lagi Setu, who has returned to rugby league after a two-year Mormon missionary. Jason Ryles, playing in his 14th season, is expected to play in the match for the first time in his career. The match will be played on February 22.