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Stop the high tacklers: NRL refs boss

AAP logoAAP 19/09/2016 Matt Encarnacion

NRL referees boss Tony Archer has backed his officials to clamp down on teams for high tackles as the 2016 finals series moves into its penultimate weekend

In a major contrast to week one of the finals, Archer praised the performances of his men at the two semi-finals in Townsville and Canberra.

However he urged his whistleblowers to continue to penalise offenders over a concerning increase in high tackles in the first six finals games this post-season.

"If there is a high tackle and it's foul play, my expectation is that the on-field officials will penalise that," Archer told the NRL website on Monday.

"There have been a few in the semi-finals but from my view going forward this weekend that won't change.

"I thought we had a really good weekend. Leading off from the high tackles, the expectation that they make those decisions and make those decisions as it ramps up."

Canberra forward Elliot Whitehead was lucky to escape sanction from the match review committee after connecting with the head of Penrith counterpart Isaah Yeo on Saturday night.

Match review chairman Michael Buettner explained that while Whitehead did hit Yeo high, the Panthers forward was falling and the contact was accidental.

"You can see Yeo, who did drop dramatically, was hit low by one of the Raiders players. There was no swinging arm from Elliot Whitehead in this instance," he said.

"And the contact was deemed incidental. There was not a careless nature and that's one of the key elements. On this occasion it was just a bit of football."

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