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NRL's hardline stance on violence in line with message of schools to their young athletes

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NRL's hardline stance on violence in line with message of schools to their young athletes

Schools are clamping down on sportsfield fighting in light of recent State of Origin violence but have called on professional players and rugby league legends to do more to ban the biff.


The NRL's tough one-punch-you're-out stance and the sin-binning of four players during Origin II has been criticised as heavy handed by high-profile commentators, but it is in line with what many schools and junior clubs are preaching to youngsters.


After Origin I, when Paul Gallen escaped the sin-bin for repeatedly punching Nate Myles, Brisbane rugby union school St Joseph's Nudgee College said in its newsletter the issue would be raised with students after holidays.


"On our first assembly back our behavioural expectations for winter sport will be outlined but it is worthy to note early that school sport is primarily about participation, friendship, discipline and enjoyment - there is no place for violence, intolerance and stupidity," the newsletter said.


"The disgraceful behaviour of our professional football players in State of Origin was evidence that the message about violence and assault is still not getting through.''


Dean of students Paul Begg said the professionals could learn from schoolboy competitions.


"Across the sporting codes, if there is one punch boys are suspended for a mandatory minimum and a judiciary decides if they should be playing the game at all," Mr Begg said.


"Our respected sporting legends like Wally Lewis and Mal Meninga can help the next generation of sporting stars by speaking up against biff on the field.''


Moreton Bay Boys' College head Tony Wood agreed sporting legends had a role to play in sending a positive message.


"I realise the top men in sport are in a bind in that they are trying to promote their code to the general public and keep spectators happy but they are also trying to promote the sport at schoolboy level," he said.


"As far as our school is concerned - across all codes - a punch is never acceptable. The message in schoolboy competitions is very clear that violence will not be tolerated."


Greater Brisbane Junior Rugby League operations manager Shane McNally called for improved education to help coaches deal with aggression among players.


"They should be able to recognise that at training and implement processes in training to ensure those players don't carry that aggression onto the field," he said.


"Children playing any sport try to copy their heroes. If they see a player do something on the field, they'll try and duplicate that."

 

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