Relieved Jackson says no place for chicken wings
He is Belmore's forever-man. A hard-working, unassuming lad cut straight out of central-western NSW who's missed just one solitary game since debuting in 2012.
Whether it's been at second row, lock, five-eighth or in the centres, he'll punch out 80 quality minutes without so much of a whiff of complaint.
In fact, he's such an NRL cleanskin – his rap sheet is cleaner than a DVD box set of The Wiggles – that even his coach reckons that he wouldn't know how to play dirty.
But that didn't stop Josh Jackson from fearing the worst when he was put on report for a chicken wing tackle in the Bulldogs' epic win over Manly last Saturday night.
"No one likes to miss any games, especially a preliminary final," the Bulldogs second-rower said on Wednesday.
"No one goes out there and tries to do these things. It was a bit of an awkward situation. Just the position that he got in, it could've looked bad. I don't think there was any type of movement that could've caused an injury.
"There was definitely a bit of a worry there. It's a pretty big game. You don't like to miss any games. I've moved on and it's a big game on Saturday night."
Jackson, who's now played 66 straight games (67 altogether) in the blue and white, was adamant that the Bulldogs have never been taught the machinations that go into a performing a chicken wing tackle.
He was simply trying to turn Josh Starling onto his back.
"Until this week, I haven't known a great deal about [the chicken wing]. It's not a good thing in the game to put people in a position where they can injure themselves," he said.
"We don't practice anything like that here. All I was trying to do what was put the guy on his back.
"It's obviously dangerous and not good for the game.
"People don't go out there and try and put people into those positions. All you're trying to do is tackle the bloke and get him to the ground and, in my case, get him on his back to try and slow the play-the-ball down a little bit."
Coach Des Hasler said he was pleased to have one of his hardest working back-rowers on deck for their preliminary final.
"More so for the individual – he's had a good year, a stellar year," he said. "He's gotten better and better. He's pretty important to what we do and I think the match review committee got it right."
Teammate Dale Finucane, who previously lived with Jackson from their junior years at the club to last year, said they were always confident the 23-year-old would take his place in the team on Saturday night.
"Jacko's massive for us. I think that would've been the first game that he would've missed in his career, had he missed that game," he said. "But I think we were always confident that he'd be okay with that tackle. He's a great inclusion in our side."