NRL veteran Aaron Woods has declared players “100 per cent” lay down to milk penalties, but the Dragons prop has a solution to stamp it out.
Rabbitohs players were accused of staying down for penalties in their brutal elimination final win over the Roosters on Sunday.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson “took umbrage” to a suggestion his players were doing the same in the clash that saw a record seven without bins.
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Tricolors lock Victor Radley was binned twice, while fellow enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves also copped 10 minutes for roughing up Rabbitohs players.
Souths fullback Latrell Mitchell copped several high shots and was incredulous when he didn’t get a penalty from a Waerea-Hargreaves in the fierce clash.
Mitchell stayed on a knee until the Bunker intervened, but the Rabbitohs superstar denied doing anything wrong.
A similar incident unfolded with Rabbitohs skipper Cameron Murray in the second half after he copped some treatment from Waerea-Hargreaves.
Woods was asked on the Fox League Podcast if he thought Rabbitohs players were milking penalties.
“Yeah 100 per cent. Players always do it,” Woods said.
“I’m a massive Cameron Murray fan, love him to death but you’re telling me he didn’t stay down trying to get that penalty on the bottom of the posts?
“Knowing there had been so many no bins already in that game and that it was JWH who is a main offender and (Murray) knows if a ref sees him in a tackle he’s obviously going to check it.”
Woods agreed that refusing to milk penalties could have cost the Roosters the game, but he believes Robinson wouldn’t want it any other way.
“Robbo is probably happy, yeah they got beat but he can say ‘We didn’t do what other teams do, we stuck to our standards and our culture at the Roosters’. Their integrity wouldn’t be questioned,” Woods said.
“Honestly, you look at the Roosters, I’ve played against them – they’re a physical side – they’re a nice and direct type of team and they don’t stay down.
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“It sort of showed with Matt Lodge when Tom Burgess took his head off, he got up straight away and tried for a quick play the ball but he got the penalty and Tommy got 10 in the bin.
“Trent Robinson would have been pretty angry about it because the Roosters never lay down.”
Woods believes there’s a simple solution to stamp it out of the game.
“What I hate is when players get hit high or there’s a little bit of contact up high, they stay down,” Woods said.
“It’s not until they can hear the ref start to blow time off or there’s a penalty, and then they’re playing on again, six-again straight away.
“For me, if you lay down you’re straight off for HIA – 15 minutes off the field. Any time someone tries to lay down thinking they’re trying to milk something, just take them off and it’ll stop players from doing it.”
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