NRL360 presenter Braith Anasta has called referee Gerard Sutton’s decision to punish Roosters whore Sam Verrills for a dangerous tackle one of the “worst calls ever”.
During the Panthers and Roosters clash on Friday night, Sutton blew his whistle after Tricolors No.9 crouched low and made contact with Penrith forward Scott Sorensen whose face touched the ground.
Viewers were stunned by the penalty and Anasta believes it cost Trent Robinson’s side the game.
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The call gave Ivan Cleary’s side another set and led to a crucial try by Panthers when Viliame Kikau burst over the line, giving the Bergmen a 14-6 lead going into halftime.
“Some big calls they got wrong in this game, I don’t care who you go for, you watch that game against the Panthers, the umpires were terrible,” said Anasta.
“It cost the roosters the game… this was one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen.”
“Isn’t that a textbook on how to get that low on a big guy,” Buzz Rothfield of The Daily Telegraph asked.
“I thought Verrills himself slipped. The penalty is to put the ball runner in a dangerous position, he didn’t put it anywhere,” said NRL360 co-host Paul Kent.
“It was a terrible, terrible decision,” Rothfield said.
Meanwhile, Buzz Rothfield of The Daily Telegraph explained that crucial mistakes are made, costing teams vital match points – suggesting the NRL should reintroduce the second referee.
The NRL controversially cut the two-referee system midway through the 2020 season due to cost cuts amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rothfield now wants it reintroduced to minimize the number of critical mistakes being made.
“There have been 80 coaches from NRL clubs since 2010, careers or at stake with some of these mistakes, with borderline clubs fighting for their survival, fighting to make the eight, are victims of these mistakes,” Rothfield said. .
“I think they need to get the second referee back to make the ruck work.”
“They’re looked after, they’re paid to be professional, but they don’t understand the game,” said Kent.
“I actually feel sorry for them, Kenty, because that’s the game and the rules change and the speed, that’s why I think they need more help, they need one person to referee the ruck,” Rothfield said.
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“Maybe Sutton just had a bad night and as players we all have bad nights, you know what happens when you have a bad night, sometimes you don’t play the next week,” said Anasta.
“As for the Verrills, what does the technology do, everyone saw it,” said David Riccio of The Daily Telegraph.
“Once he blows they can’t go, oh wait, that’s not punishment, it’s just too late. This is what I mean, he was just having a bad night,” Anasta said.
“He panicked, he had a brain explosion, he had a shocker.”
Meanwhile, in the Dragons-Raiders showdown, playmaker Ben Hunt exploited a loophole in the six-again rule, denying Ricky Stuart’s side the chance to tie the scores and take the game to the golden point.
Kent believes that if a rule can be intentionally broken to take advantage of it, it should be removed from play.
NRL head of football Graham Annesley apologized to the Raiders in his round 16 briefing, but Kent thinks it’s time for action.
“Three incidents in two tackles where players could have gone to the sin bin,” said Kent.
“The six-to-one rule needs to be eradicated from the game, we all came in and raved and there are some great benefits to it.
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“But if you have a rule where it is more beneficial to break the rule and suffer the punishment than to obey the rule, then it is a bad rule.
“The dragons here just threw them everywhere and broke the rules because they knew they had another six, if that was the way they went, which was a mistake, but that’s the way it went, it didn’t do them any harm.
“If you intentionally break the rules to gain an advantage it’s a sin bin. Ben Hunt did it twice,” said Anasta.
So far, Kent believes Ricky Stuart’s Raiders have lost their chance at four league points this season due to referee decisions.
Earlier in the year Matt Lodge milked out a late penalty that allowed the Warriors to kick a penalty goal and take the game to the golden point and now the Dragons used the six-again rule to their advantage.
As it stands, the team from the country’s capital is in 11th position on the league ladder, but with four points more it would be in the top eight.
“We’ve already fired three coaches this season, we’ve got a fourth looking over his shoulder, the Raiders are on 14 points, you give them the two points they could have gotten there, a penalty would have made it 12 .” Send it all to Golden Point,” Kent said.
“Earlier in the year they played against the Warriors, Matt Lodge admitted to diving, which then brought the game to a gold point, which the Warriors then won, leaving the Raiders on 18 points and in the top eight.
“Any club will tell you the difference between eighth and tenth place.
“To sit down and if you have two decisions at the end of the game that cost the Raiders four points, that’s important.
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“It’s not good enough to sit there every time and have that mistake, sorry about that, better luck next week, guys lose their jobs because of this.”
“We don’t need another referee in the ruck,” Anasta said.
“You have the head referee, you have a lot of people in the bunker.”
“But the bottom line is that the system we have now is not working and two teams with 14 points were duped this weekend,” Rothfield said.
“There is no sense of the game. Anyone who watched that game over the weekend saw that it was a deliberate mistake meant to stop the Raiders from having a chance to win the game,” said Kent.
“It was supposed to be a penalty, but if the referee goes through his checkpoints, he hasn’t invested any emotion in the game.”
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