Joey erupts over Thurston ‘car crash’ hit
RUGBY league immortal Andrew Johns has demanded the NRL throw the book at Jack Gosiewski after the Sea Eagles forward got away with a whiplash "dog shot" on Cowboys star Johnathan Thurston.
Johns led the criticism to Gosiewski's first half hit which saw Thurston struggle back to his feet after getting flattened with a late shoulder charge to the back of his ribs.
The former Newcastle legend has led a crusade this season calling for the NRL to stamp out late shots on playmakers after they've already passed the ball.
Thurston ran right to the Manly line before throwing a pass. When Gosiewski jammed his shoulder into Thurston's back, the former Kangaroos representative was completely blindsided.
Replays showed the sickening whiplash force which tossed Thurston's head sharply in two directions.
The referees allowed play to continue, but finally gave the Cowboys a penalty at the end of that play and placed Gosiweski on report.
Thurston was able to get back to his feet and kick the resulting penalty goal, but Johns raged at the referees failure to send Gosiewski to the sin-bin for an ugly late hit.
"Just watch the way his head whiplashes here," Johns said in commentary for Channel 9 at Brookvale Oval.
"For a player who's had so many bumps in his career and has never shied away from bumps, he goes right to the line for the contact. Can you imagine the toll that's taken on his body and he gets hit from behind with a shoulder charge like that?
"Honestly, I hate it. Get it out of the game. Give them suspensions and it will stop - long suspensions. It has to stop."
Johns raged again at half time.
"That is awful," he said of Gosiewski's tackle.
"JT doesn't a stay down, he's not into gamesmanship.
"He doesn't deserve it. Other players don't deserve to get a dog shot in the back."
"There has to be some long suspensions. One of those bumps may stop his career."
Thurston also blew up over the tackle after the game.
"It shits me - do I have to get a broken rib before they stamp it out," Thurston said.
"What is it going to take to stop them. It's not part of our team and the way we go about our business.
"But it has been put on report, so I'm sure the match review committee will deal with it."
It came as Dragons great Jamie Soward revealed
"He should be ten in the bin for that. It's disgraceful," Soward said in commentary for Triple M NRL.
"The body is relaxed Wendell and something has to have gone out after Sam Kasiano last week (referring to the Storm forward's "coward tackle on Thurston last week).
"I've been hit by Steve Matai before when my body was relaxed and it's the most pain you can go through.
"I was just in shock. It's like being in a car accident, you're not bracing yourself."
It came as Manly's Jorge Taufua showed it's possible to deliver a devastating hit within the rules when he flattened Cowboys centre Justin O'Neill.
Taufua's first half hit saw the speedster rush in and tackle O'Neill at the instant the former Queensland representative caught the Steeden with a man unmarked on the wing.
Taufua's hit saw him jam his shoulder under O'Neill's ribs with stunning force.
O'Neill was also able to get back to his feet and helped the Cowboys to a 16-8 half time lead.
The Cowboys never looked troubled in the second half and ran away to a season-saving 26-12 win.
Thurston had previously never been available before an Origin match in his Cowboys career, but played a hand in three of their four tries to help snap a worrying three-game losing streak.
His night was more than matched by Jason Taumalolo, who carried the Cowboys with 268 metres, 12 tackle busts and a try in a heroic 80-minute performance in the absence of a number of their forwards.
The Cowboys had six players either on Origin duty, injured, or suspended.
Manly, who were without the Trbojevic brothers, appeared set for a comeback when Brian Kelly scurried over to reduce an eight-point halftime deficit to four with the first try after resumption.
But the visitors made the most of a wasteful Sea Eagles side in the second half, with Antonio Winterstein completing his double and then Enari Tuala crossing in the space of four minutes.
The win ends a heartbreaking fortnight for the Cowboys, who had fallen to one- point losses in back-to-back weeks, but now moves them to within six points of the top eight.
The defeat for the Sea Eagles leaves them in 12th spot on eight points. Both sides traded early penalty goals before the Cowboys potted over another when Thurston was belted by Gosiewski after passing the ball. The shot drew another tirade from Channel Nine commentator Andrew Johns, just a week after he called a similar tackle on Thurston by Melbourne prop Sam Kasiano as "cowardly".
Kasiano was only suspended for a week.
"Imagine the toll it's taken on his body and he gets hit behind with a shoulder charge like that. I hate it. Get it out of the game. Give them suspensions and it will stop, long suspensions," Johns said.
The incident seemed to spur the Eagles into action, with Shaun Lane spinning over for a try.
However the Cowboys hit back with consecutive efforts set up by Thurston, who grubbered for Taumalolo and then showed quick hands for Winterstein to take a 16-8 halftime lead.
There was a scary moment late in the match when Lane was knocked out after an offload, while Gosiewski exited the match in the final minute with a suspected arm injury.
- with AAP