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Page last updated at 19:54 GMT, Wednesday, 5 May 2010 20:54 UK

Giants coach Brown demands player protection

Nathan Brown
Brown led Huddersfield to last season's Challenge Cup final

Huddersfield coach Nathan Brown has demanded more to be done to protect the game's playmakers from illegal play.

Brown was furious after Wigan's Sean O'Loughlin escaped punishment for a late and high tackle on 5ft 7in Luke Robinson at Murrayfield last weekend.

And he has stated that the Rugby Football League's judiciary is not doing enough to discourage fouling.

"It's a serious issue over here. At the moment, there's nothing done to protect the players," he said.

"There's no risk to anyone doing anything late to players over here because if a referee sends anybody off they'll get sent to the judiciary and come away with a £300 fine and a slap on the wrist and all the heat comes back on the referee.

"It wouldn't have happened in Australia because the player would have known if he had done it, he would have got into strife.

"Over here, it's a hundred times worse. Any player can take a risk, like O'Loughlin the other day. People won't do it if someone is made an example of."

O'Loughlin, who was penalised and lectured by the referee, was given a caution when the incident was studied by the RFL's match review panel - a decision that did not surprise Brown, who believes the foul deserved a ban of up to two months.

At the post-match conference after Sunday's game, Brown revealed he would order his own "enforcers" to mete out their own punishment in future in order to protect the "small" players.

Last season's Coach of the Year escaped punishment from the RFL for those remarks but has clearly been left angered by the issue.

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"It's not about Wigan or Wigan players, it's about the whole game in general over here," he insisted

"If one of my players did what happened the other day, he should be sent off and be suspended for a month or two to discourage him from attacking people.

"I can show you pictures of my own players last year and this year who have been at the judiciary and shouldn't have got away with what they got away with.

"We had Darrell Griffin last year up for a grapple tackle and he should have been suspended for two weeks but he got nothing.

You've got to protect your best assets. Luke Robinson is as tough as any player I've ever seen and he should be protected

Nathan Brown

"I've been talking about this in the coaches' meetings two or three times. I've been told the theory is that there are not enough good players over here so we can't go suspending them for too long. Well that's disgraceful.

"You've got to protect your best assets. Luke Robinson is as tough as any player I've ever seen and he should be protected, as should Sam Tomkins for Wigan and Sean Long - all the little people.

"Sure, hit them hard but hit them fair. The head is not an area that you should go near. The referees need better support from the judiciary."



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