Shoulder charge rule is clear-cut: Parker
Broncos veteran Corey Parker believes the NRL's crackdown on the shoulder charge is "clear-cut" and has been all season despite recent outcries of inconsistency surrounding the rule.
Six players are facing time on the sidelines after being cited for grade-one shoulder charges by the Match Review Committee from incidents stemming from Round 23.
Roosters back-rower Aidan Guerra and Canberra's Jordan Rapana are looking at two weeks out even with an early guilty plea due to prior loading, while Manly's Jorge Taufua, Titans forward Lachlan Burr and South Sydney's Luke Keary will all miss one week if they decided not to challenge their charges.
Keary's teammate, Issac Luke, will fight to clear his name at the judiciary after being placed on report for a shoulder charge on Johnathan Thurston in last Thursday's 31-18 win against the Cowboys.
Luke is already out for one match after pleading guilty to a dangerous throw on Cowboys' fullback Lachlan Coote and faces another two weeks if he fails to defend his shoulder charge.
For a man who has played over 300 NRL matches and averages 34 tackles per game, Corey Parker knows a thing or two about the correct technique involved in making and receiving contact.
The 33-year-old believes the recent conjecture surrounding the rule is null and void.
"From my point of view [the rule] has been black and white all year; I don't know why there is any grey involved," Parker said.
"If your arm is beside yourself and you lead with the shoulder it's deemed to be a shoulder charge.
"At the start of the year when we were told what a shoulder charge was, [the NRL] said if you can't put a newspaper under your arm it's deemed to be a shoulder charge.
"If you lead in with your arm tucked in by your side it's a shoulder charge – it's simple.
"I don't know why we are discussing it – it's been clear-cut all year."
Willie Mason, Ben Matulino and Adam Blair have recently been cited and suspended for shoulder charge incidents within the past fortnight as the NRL looks to stamp it out.
The clampdown comes after Sunshine Coast Falcons forward James Ackerman was killed earlier this year after being hit by a shoulder charge during an Intrust Super Cup match.
While the shoulder charge rule is as clear as mud for some, Parker has no such qualms about the ruling even if a there was potential for a player to be suspension during the finals series.
"The reality is yes, you could be in that position. From a player's point of view, if you don't understand what a shoulder charge is maybe you should be looking it up quick smart," he said.
"It's something we keep talking about and I think we talk about it because of the inconsistency now that they are clamping down on it."
Meanwhile, Parker says the Roosters can accommodate for the loss of Guerra, with leading prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves in career-best form.
"Aidan's been playing great footy off the back of his Origin series and he's a pretty important part of their side. They're a quality side and have a lot of depth and I'm sure someone will fill that void for one or two weeks," he said.
"[Waerea-Hargreaves] is certainly the spiritual leader in their pack. He's got some inspirational plays in him; he's a big guy and plays that heart-on-your-sleeve style of footy.
"They play off the back of him and he's one of many to watch out for in their team."