NRL 2021: NZ Warriors forward Josh Curran caught in crossfire over head-high tackling barrage

NRL head of football Graham Annesley is remaining uncharacteristically silent, after a spate of head-high tackles has the competition in turmoil over what should - and shouldn't - be acceptable.

NZ Warriors forward Josh Curran is among those facing time on the sideline - in his case, two weeks - for collisions that left opponents reeling with head injuries.

Cronulla Sharks forward Siosifa Talaki - a former Junior Kiwi - has accepted a four-week suspension for his horrific no-arms hit on Canterbury Bulldogs rival Matt Doorey, while North Queensland forward Mitchell Dunn will sit for a week, after a 'crusher' tackle against Canberra.

Others in trouble with the judiciary include St George Dragons duo Tyrell Fuimaono and Mikaele Ravalawa, who both took separate high shots at Sydney Roosters star James Tedesco, before Ravalawa finally put the opposition fullback out of their game before halftime.

Commentators are heatedly divided on the merits of each case, with most accepting Curran was unlucky to receive a yellow card that put his side on the back foot in their 42-20 ANZAC Day defeat by Melbourne Storm.

"The game was OK at that stage and then we spent 10 minutes running off our legs," says Warriors coach Nathan Brown. "Where we're at with a lot of inexperienced players out there, it certainly made the game difficult for us.

"I thought it was a bit of a rough call."

In his regular Monday post mortem, Annesley often takes just a little too much delight in critiquing marginal referee decisions over the weekend, but is obliged to keep mum this week, given the delicate nature of these incidents.

"Most of the incident that were so-called controversial over the weekend involved foul play, players being place on report, being sin-binned or... not sent off this weekend, but certainly charged by the match review committees," he says.

"I won't be able to talk about those cases specifically that are in front of the match review committee."

His abstinence follows a statement from NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo, defending the judicial process, after it suspended South Sydney star Latrell Mitchell for four weeks for a reckless tackle the previous weekend.

Mitchell currently leads the Dally M Awards standings, but is now ineligible to claim the prestigious MVP honours.

"The judiciary panel operates in a challenging environment and its members are tasked with making difficult decisions, requiring independent thought and unique insight, which comes through playing the game at the highest level," says Abdo.

"There are currently five judiciary panel members, who have played almost 1000 premiership games collectively and won Grand Finals, State of Origin series and test matches.

"Their knowledge and understanding of rugby league is unquestionable."

If Curran is stood down, his absence will add to a growing list of Warriors players unavailable for selection - mainly through injury - further adding to the inexperienced nature of its line-up this week.

Join us at 4pm Sunday for live updates of the Warriors v North Queensland Cowboys NRL clash