NRL breaks silence on ‘absolute travesty’

The NRL’s head of football Graham Annesley has admitted Cowboys hooker Reece Robson should not have been sin-binned in the shadow of full-time against the Sharks on Friday.

With his side trailing by two points, Robson attempted a tackle around the waist of Aiden Tolman, but the Sharks forward slid as he approached the defence and was collected high.

NRL fans and experts were sent into a frenzy when Robson was marched, pointing to the sin-binning as proof that the NRL has “lost the plot”.

“He went down very low,” commentator Warren Smith said on Fox League.

“I don’t know what more Reece Robson could have done there … his head is three-feet off the ground.

“Nobody wants to see concussion in a game … but that is an absolute travesty.”

Balmain great Steve Roach replied: “What can he do? He can’t disappear!”

The high tackle handed the Sharks a penalty inside their own 20, gifting them a free pass out out of the danger zone and effectively ending the contest.

Literally just came on twitter tonight to see the #nrlcowboyssharks thread. Worst call ever. Ruined a good finish. Decided the game. Tackled at knee height, still called "high" I cant with this game. Good to see everyone cant either!

That’s not 10 In the bin. What do you want him to do? I don’t get it. @[email protected]_com_au

I hate to say it, but we are well & truly saying goodbye to the blue collared nature our game was built on!!
No way was that a sin bin!! #nrlcowboyssharks

The NRL has lost the plot. Even the ref felt embarrassed sending Robson to the sin-bin for that. #nrlcowboyssharks

Eyebrows were raised further when the match review committee chose not to charge Robson the following day.

Speaking at his weekly briefing on Monday, Annesley conceded match officials made the wrong call in sending Robson to the sin bin.

“It was certainly a case where I think The Bunker’s intervention and the decision to send the player to the sin bin wasn’t warranted,” Annesley said.

“We tend to think about swinging arms (and) making contact with players in the head or neck (as grounds for a sin bin).

“This was a very different type of tackle.

“Robson approached Tolman almost with his back parallel to the ground, he was bent at the waist, he had both arms outstretched and for all intents and purposes looked as though he was intending to tackle Tolman around the waist if Tolman had still been upright.

“I don’t think (the high tackle) was in any way attributable to the way that Reece Robson approached the tackle.

“We need to apply a test of what I call ‘reasonableness’ (sic).

“Is it reasonable to expect that Robson could have done anything more to avoid the outcome of the tackle? I think the answer to that is, no, he couldn’t have done anything more.

“Going forward … we would like to see that type of tackle not result in disciplinary action against the player concerned.”

Annesley’s explanation will be cold comfort for NRL pundits, who were quick to point out the similarities between Robson’s tackle and one made by Roosters forward Sio Siua Taukeiaho against the Panthers just hours later.

Come on. Do we want players hung for low accidental contact? It is NOT high contact. It was half a metre from the ground!!!! #NRLPanthersRoosters

Did Ashley Klein say there were “no mitigating factors” in the Siosiua Taukeiaho high shot on Nathan Cleary? #NRLPanthersRoosterspic.twitter.com/f8wPUaGxjT

In the first half of the game, Taukeiaho was sin-binned for tackling Penrith’s Nathan Cleary high as he slid into the turf. Penrith capitalised, scoring two tries while Taukeiaho was off the field and taking the lead.

Unlike Robson, however, Taukeiaho was cited by the NRL’s match review committee. He will contest his grade one high tackle charge at the judiciary on Tuesday night.

Annesley said the match officials’ rulings will continue to divide fans, but he hopes consistency will be achieved over time.

“We’ll get debates about whether something should have been a penalty only or a penalty and report or a penalty and a sin bin.

“We’ll still get those, but what we have to try and do is get the referees and the bunker officials as much as possible on the same page.

“We’re not there yet.”

Source: Read Full Article