South Sydney Rabbitohs v North Queensland Cowboys, Coen Hess tackle, hit, sin bin, video, Phil Gould

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North Queensland forward Coen Hess was reported and sin-binned for a tackle that floored South Sydney centre Campbell Graham on Saturday night.

But a bristling Phil Gould has ripped the referee’s decision and is convinced that Hess should avoid being sanctioned.

In a chaotic end to the Rabbitohs’ 20-10 victory over the Cowboys at Sydney Olympic Park, Hess was the first of two North Queensland players marched to the sin bin when he collided with Graham in the 74th minute.

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The other sin-binning was the result of Kyle Feldt impeding opposing winger Alex Johnston as the speedster raced to gather a kick in the 77th minute.

Hess appeared to collect Graham’s head with his left shoulder, but Gould argued that he did not make contact with his head and urged the NRL to consider its product ahead of the match review committee’s call.

“He hasn’t hit him in the head, and to his credit Campbell Graham bounces up,” Gould said on Nine’s post-game coverage.

“What do you want the game to look like if that’s illegal? What did you want him to do?

“Did you want Coen Hess to run in and tackle like Victor Radley? Put his head down at his knees?”

Radley was left concussed and convulsing on the ground after bending low to tackle Storm prop Jesse Bromwich on Friday night.

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Medical staff from both the Roosters and Storm attended to the tough lock, before he was carted from the field at Melbourne Olympic Park.

In scenes that warmed hearts, Radley was spotted on the field after full-time with a booming smile as he greeted his teammates and opponents.

“(Hess) went chest on chest, face to face and hit him the way they’re taught to tackle,” Gould added.

“Why? Because we’re trying to stop them from tackling like Victor Radley and doing what he did to himself. You want Coen Hess to run in and do what Victor Radley did? Of course not.

“We don’t want those scenes, and we don’t want blokes knocking themselves out. So they go in.

“They know what they’re doing. They do it at training all the time.

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“Every now and then they might clash heads a little bit.

“But they’re paid to do this, this is what they do, they’re professional footballers, they’re different to everyone else.”

Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou was coy when asked about the incident in his post-match press conference.

“I’ll have to look at it closer, but they’ve obviously deemed there’s contact with the head,” Demetriou said.

“‘Stretch’ went down, but he got up, so I don’t know.”

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Graham left the field — not for a head injury assessment but a free interchange that’s allowed after an incident of foul play. While a HIA would have taken until the end of the match, Graham raised eyebrows when he returned two minutes later.

“They’ve done the assessment and he’s good to go,” Demetriou said.

“I’d like to get another look at it,” said Cowboys coach Todd Payten in his post-match press conference.

“But from our point of view, Campbell Graham didn’t come off for a HIA, so I’m not sure whether he got hit in the head or not, you know? That’s the part that I’m confused about.”

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