Thaiday defends Brent Tate over tackle comments
BRONCOS forward Sam Thaiday has branded critics of north Queensland star Brent Tate's emotional outburst following his scary Origin tackle last week as "silly".
Tate revealed after the 12-8 loss to NSW in game one that he had never been more scared on a football field in his life than he was when lifted and flipped in the air by NSW pair Josh Reynolds and Beau Scott in front of 52,000 fans who held their collective breath.
The Cowboys centre made an impassioned plea for officials to jump on offenders so no other family had to sit by a player's bedside, but that clearly did not find its way to the NRL's judiciary panel.
To the amazement of many, the panel downgraded the dangerous throw charge against Bulldogs five-eighth Reynolds which means he will not miss a match for the controversial tackle.
Tate's comments did not sit well with everyone, Blues and Titans hard man Greg Bird labelling them disappointing, saying "usually players leave what happens on the field out there on the field, especially in Origin".
Tate is understood to be livid at the reaction and the failure of the NRL to support his call for harsher penalties for players guilty of lifting and dumping rivals, regardless of how they land or whether they are injured.
Thaiday, who witnessed the horror tackle from the Suncorp Stadium stands last Wednesday night because of a calf muscle injury, said people should understand what his Maroons team mate had been through and how hard he had worked to keep playing at the highest level.
"It's a bit silly that people are blowing up because someone spoke up and voiced their opinion," he said.
"At the end of the day he was put in a dangerous position and he's got every right to have his say because he was the player put in that dangerous position.
"Good on him for speaking up.
"He is a player who has suffered some neck injuries, and as it's been shown, one tackle can really change someone's career, it can change someone's life."
Thaiday said Tate's courage was beyond question, having played for several years wearing a protective neck brace which saved his career, as well as having overcome some horrific knee injuries.
"He is not a whinger or a sook. He is a very tough player to even be playing rugby league any more," he said.