The way the game is going nowadays, the only acceptable option for Drinkwater would have been to actually dive to his right and remove himself from the play, not even being sarcastic. It's a shame, but here we are.
I think that’s a piss poor take.
Drinkwater is racing to cover the corner post. He’s over committed and Oates has taken a nice line back on his inside. It’s Drinkwaters poor positional play and horrible angle he’s taken that leaves him past Oates and side on.
It’s not even like Oates steps him last second and it’s an instinctual reaction. He’s metres away when Oates has taken a nice line that’s taken advantage of Drinkwaters bad position and angle at the attacking player.
The hit turns him on his back because he’s literally put his shoulder into his jaw with enough force to break it. That’s why Oates doesn’t get the ball down. Townsend and Hiku won’t be able to get underneath him without the whiplash of his body trying to follow his head.
You can’t focus on just the single moment where “what else was he supposed to do” and ignore its his own fault in the first place. He couldn’t hit his chest cause his speed had taken him past (i.e he was overbalanced) and the only way he could apply force was to jump and arm slap/shoulder charge his opponents face.
Do I think it was malicious? no. I think he’s trying his best and it’s unfortunate where it’s ended up. But the onus is on the defender to be in the right position to make a stop. Not for the only option left to be take his head off.
So please don’t blame where the game is heading. Referee (not the bunker) called it in real time as a high hit. Personally without Oates head going 180 and getting him on his back I think Oates scores and and it should have been a penalty try.
Did you know technically most tries wouldn’t be scored if the defender could break the attackers jaw ? Soft game these days hey?
Tried to put pictures below for detail/context on position/angle etc.
Apologies for the rant. Just think it weak to blame the “direction of the game” rather than objectively look at a bad defensive read. Good effort that had a terrible outcome - but shit read.
Also - sorry if this feels a bit targeted. I’ve just didn’t like the tone or the discussion around it being unfair to Drinkwater and the cowboys. Situation of his own making and nothing else.
Hopefully if anyone actually read this novel they’ll know I think your a great poster but think you’ve got this one all wrong.