League hardman backs Bronco for going the biff
FORMER rugby league hardman Steve 'Blocker' Roach has leapt to the defence of Brisbane hooker Andrew McCullough in the wake of his Suncorp Stadium punch-up on Sunday.
McCullough was sin-binned for punching Warriors forward Chris Satae after the latter had lifted his elbow while running the ball, collecting the Broncos player high.
Satae was also sent to the bin for his high elbow, and both players are expected to cop a serve from the match review committee on Monday.
If the NRL is consistent with its rulings, McCullough would be suspended for two games just as Melbourne centre Curtis Scott was for punching Dylan Walker earlier in the season.
Scott was reacting to some Walker sledging when the pair square up and the latter copped a broken eye socket for his troubles.
But Roach argues McCullough shouldn't be punished simply because he was reacting to a dirty act from the opposition player.
"It's very hard not to retaliate if someone shoves their forearm or their elbow into your face," Roach told Fox Sports' Controversy Corner.
"Adrenaline is pumping, what do you think he's going to do? I know they'll all howl me down.
"The only problem is McCullough should have eight boxing lessons, they should send him there because he wouldn't have knocked a maggot off a chop with those punches.
"You're revved up for a game of footy and someone throws their elbow in your face, are you saying you can't retaliate?
"You're revved up, you're pumped up for a game of footy, what are you going to do?"
The rest of the Controversy Corner panel pointed out any attempt to punch another player was banned under NRL law, but Roach doubled down on his argument.
"If someone hits you in the face it's very hard not to retaliate, whether you're on the street or the footy field or wherever you are."
Senior News Corp journalist Phil Rothfield believes McCullough won't cop the same punishment as Scott because his punches didn't do as much damage.
Satae emerged from the fight virtually unscathed, compared to Walker's broken bones.
"The thing is if Curtis Scott only got two weeks for basically a king hit that broke a guys eye socket, you can't give (McCullough) anything for that," Rothfield said.
"A sin bin has to be sufficient.
"He didn't land one."