Tapine says kickers don't need to be targeted
Canberra Raiders forward Joe Tapine said high tackles on kickers are simply "not needed" in the game after having come to the aid of teammate Aidan Sezer in their 20-point loss to the South Sydney on Saturday.
Rabbitohs enforcer Sam Burgess has been suspended for two weeks after accepting the early guilty plea for his shot on Sezer in the 59th minute of the match played in Gosford.
It was the second time in three weeks Sezer has been the target of a late hit after Canterbury captain Josh Jackson was placed on report but avoided suspension for a comparable tackle in round five.
Raiders captain Jarrod Croker earlier described the tackle was "ordinary", sentiments echoed by Tapine. The rugged forward confronted Burgess immediately after the hit.
"I just saw one of the boys get head-highed and I thought I'd let him know it wasn't alright," Tapine said.
"It's annoying when you see one of the boys get hit like that, it's not really needed."
Asked if more could be done to protect kickers including the use of the sin-bin, the New Zealand international said players need to be more accountable for their actions.
"I think it's down to the individual and the decision to do that [high tackle] and it's a pretty easy fix, you don't see a lot of people doing that every week, they're just little brain lapses," Tapine said.
Many of the same problems that plagued the Raiders' starting month to the season reared their heads again in the loss to the Rabbitohs.
South Sydney's forwards were able to dominate the middle third for much of the first half, which left Canberra with very little possession to keep in touch with the red-hot Rabbitohs side.
Raiders lock Luke Bateman said last weekend's clash was an ideal warm-up for Saturday night's meeting with the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville.
Bateman said the game looms as a must-win for Canberra if they are to keep their faint finals hopes alive.
"In terms of our season we [have] really got to start turning things around," Bateman said.
"You don't want to get to round 10 or 12 and have your season in tatters, so we've got a lot of ground to make up, and it's going to be a big challenge this weekend against Cowboys, it's a must-win for us."
If they are to earn just their third victory of the season, Canberra's defence will need to improve according to Bateman, after it was exposed several times by a rampant Rabbitohs side last weekend.
"Every clip you see when the edges get exposed you always look in the middle and every time they handle it well, the middle is helping and putting pressure on," Bateman said.
"It's a hard place to defend, the edge, I don't envy them, but when we're not helping them out it makes it twice as hard for them."
The fatigue brought on by the heavy defensive load forced onto the Raiders last weekend gave utility Ata Hingano a chance for more game time.
"I'm enjoying it [utility] with the pack that we have there are moments in the game where I can use my strengths like my running game," he said.
"I'm still young, so getting the chance to play first-grade, just biding my time and I'm still learning the game."