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NRL shoulder charge rule unclear: Morgan

NZN 15/03/2017 Laine Clark

Frustrated North Queensland pivot Michael Morgan says the revised NRL shoulder charge rule is still "unclear" in the wake of Cowboys enforcer Jason Taumalolo's two game suspension.

The Cowboys' decision to test the NRL's new interpretation at the judiciary on Tuesday night backfired spectacularly when Taumalolo was rubbed out for a fortnight for his hit on Brisbane's Alex Glenn.

He would have only missed Saturday night's home clash with Manly with an early guilty plea.

Asked if there was confusion over the rule, Morgan said on Wednesday: "Yeah, I think so.

"It wasn't made completely clear to us at the start of the year what was or wasn't going to be charged for a shoulder charge.

"As players, it isn't clear."

Under the revised NRL rule this year, a player has committed a shoulder charge if he does not attempt to use his arms and there is forceful contact.

But Morgan reckoned the Cowboys were left scratching their heads after Taumalolo's ban.

"When there is big contact like that on a player of Jason's size and power it's hard for him to control him (Glenn) on his way to the ground," he said.

"With a collision that big it is hard to wrap him up.

"By the time he had a chance to do that he (Glenn) was already on the ground.

"It's a disappointing decision for us but there is nothing we can do."

Taumalolo's suspension was another blow to a Cowboys outfit still reeling from Test prop Matt Scott's season ending knee injury.

"It will be different (playing without them)," Morgan said.

"They have been there every game the last couple of years pretty much besides during rep footy.

"They are huge losses. They are the two leaders of our forward pack.

"(But) it's not one person's responsibility (to step up in their absence).

"Jason is one of a kind. As a team we will have to give an extra little bit, but I think we will be OK."

Patrick Kaufusi slots into the front row for Scott against the Sea Eagles while Canberra recruit Shaun Fensom is expected to make his Cowboys debut at lock for Taumalolo.

"He (Fensom) is a guy that when he is out on the field beside you, you know he will do his job," Morgan said.

"He won't run 300m like Jason but that is not what is expected of him."

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