AAP Rugby

DCE insists NRL got it wrong over sin-bin

By AAP Newswire

Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans maintains the NRL is wrong about South Sydney being in a try-scoring situation when Jake Trbojevic was sin-binned on Friday night.

Cherry-Evans became highly animated when the star-forward was marched late in the Sea Eagles' 34-26 semi-final loss to the Rabbitohs and remonstrated at length with referee Gerard Sutton over the decision.

The 66th-minute incident also prompted Manly coach Des Hasler to claim his side was "dudded" after they conceded two tries to blow a 26-20 lead in the 10 minutes Trbojevic was off.

NRL head of football Graham Annesley has since defended Sutton's call, claiming Souths had a try-scoring opportunity when the lock tugged on Dane Gagai's jersey and brought him down.

But Cherry-Evans adamantly disagreed when told of the explanation.

"I understand there was a linebreak but to call it a try-scoring opportunity 40m off the tryline, that was the part I was frustrated at," he said.

"I could understand if there was five or 10 metres between the play unfolding and the tryline but it was a long way back.

"I felt like we had enough players in the picture to justify coming up with a play to stop that."

Hasler spoke with Annesley after the siren, as Manly's fairytale rebound from second-last spot in 2018 came to an end.

Written off by most before the finals, they will head into next season with one of the NRL's more settled rosters in their second year under Hasler.

But that was little comfort for Cherry-Evans.

"There's no more next week so it's hard to take," he said.

"I've always said refereeing would be a really difficult job. Their job comes with a lot of scrutiny. They do their best in a tough situation.

"(But) at the end of the day we don't get a second chance. It's disappointing. It sucks."

The episode comes after the NRL last week dropped referee Ashley Klein for failing to sin bin Canberra's Elliott Whitehead as the Storm broke down field in the Raiders' eventual win.

"It was a professional foul in a try-scoring situation," Annesley reiterated.

"Last week I publicly criticised a referee for not using the sin-bin in similar circumstances.

"If Jake doesn't grab the support player, the consequences don't occur."