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Warrington Wolves stand off Lee Briers: I thought we had it
WARRINGTON Wolves veteran Lee Briers wants the cannonball tackle banned in this country, as it is in Australia.
Teammate Stefan Ratchford’s Grand Final contribution was ended in the 51st minute after a challenge by Wigan Warriors second rower Harrison Hansen.
The Warrington full back and players’ player of the year was still on his feet but held up in a tackle by hooker Michael McIlorum when Hanson’s hit crumpled Ratchford’s left leg, leaving him with ankle ligament damage.
It was while Warrington’s backline was then having to reshuffle for a second time, after having lost top try scorer Joel Monaghan with concussion in the first half, that Wigan took the lead and marched on to a Super League and Challenge Cup double.
Briers, who eventually replaced Ratchford in a position he has not started a game in since 2002, said: “It is a legal tackle, it’s not illegal but it needs to be illegal if you can go flying at somebody’s leg.
“Let’s be fair, he had a lot of body to hit but Harrison Hansen has done nothing wrong.
“In Australia that would be an eight-game ban, but over here it is not. It is up to the Rugby League to get rid of it.
“And that’s not the reason why we got beat, don’t be putting that in your report. It’s just life.”
Wolves led 16-2 after 35 minutes and the 35-year-old, in explaining away Wolves’ successive Grand Final loss, said: “I thought we had it but there were a few disruptions and fair play to Wigan they strangled us in the second half. And that’s the way rugby is.”
He said he was not sure if he felt any worse about losing at Old Trafford this year compared to 2012, when Leeds Rhinos were crowned champions.
“It’s hard to explain,” he said.
“Would I have liked to have not got to the final? Not really, no. It’s a great achievement that we got there and obviously we’re disappointed we didn’t get the result.
“We’ll get it one day. It might not be in my time, but hopefully next year.”
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