Redcliffe's Petero Civoniceva in action during the rugby league match between Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles and Redcliffe at Stockland Park.
Redcliffe's Petero Civoniceva in action during the rugby league match between Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles and Redcliffe at Stockland Park. Iain Curry

Petero Civoniceva demands tougher sanctions for ‘lifting’

AUSTRALIA'S most capped forward, and one of the hardest men to play rugby league, Petero Civoniceva, has called for the immediate implementation of tough fixed suspensions for players who make dangerous lifting tackles.

The highly-respected veteran of 45 Tests for Australia, and a record 33 games as a forward for Queensland, agreed with a plea from former Maroons teammate Brent Tate to the game's administrators to take much tougher measures to eradicate the dangerous throw from the game.

Tate was the victim of an ugly lifting tackle in Origin One that saw NSW five-eighth Josh Reynolds facing the judiciary last night.

A distressed and clearly shaken Tate, who has battled neck issues for much of his 200-plus game NRL career, implored the game's authorities to get tougher on lifting tackles.

Talking about the scary tackle, he said he had never been as frightened on a football field as when he was lifted and hurled onto his back during Wednesday night's 12-8 loss in front of more than 52,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium.

Civoniceva said if players knew they would automatically miss four or even six weeks of football for a lifting tackle, regardless of how the player landed or the extent of any injury, they would soon make adjustments and take ownership.

"On replay you see how dangerous that tackle could be, but then again when you've got guys travelling at such speed, it is very hard to control things," Civoniceva told APN.

"If the NRL is going to make a stand on this they have to show players if they attempt a lifting tackle there is going to be some severe ramifications.

"If they (the NRL) are consistent in this way, players will be put on notice and they'll make sure they don't put themselves in that position when they make tackles."

The champion prop, who recently pulled the boots on at the request of his former Queensland Cup side, Redcliffe, said NSW had produced the never-say-die attitude and spirit so synonymous with Queensland sides to win the opening game.

"When you talk about spirit, you could definitely see it in their defensive work. To me they had that look of a very close team," he said.

The big Fijian said he was confident Queensland coach Mal Meninga would address some of the problems from the first game and level the series 1-1 in Sydney next month.


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