Manly coach Des Hasler has admitted he was left unimpressed with the officiating during the Sea Eagles’ 18-10 loss to Newcastle today.
Despite racing out to a two-try lead early on, the Sea Eagles went scoreless in the second half as Newcastle crawled their way back with three unanswered tries.
Hasler was left furious after the match with the lop-sided 9-1 penalty count in favour of Newcastle.
With the game out of reach and trailing by eight points, Manly’s first penalty didn’t come until the final few seconds of the match, which reflected a poor performance by referee Ben Cummins according to the Sea Eagles coach.
“I thought we defended well, the 18 points against us doesn’t do justice to the game you all witnessed,” Hasler told reporters.
“We ran into a sizeable breeze in the first half. So from a defensive point of view, we were called upon to do quite a bit of defence.
“It’s very difficult with a 9-0 penalty count. We got our first penalty in the last 11 seconds.
“Ben Cummins is a much better referee than that. First of all, there’s an issue there – the fact we couldn’t buy some retribution as far as field position.”
Lightning-quick Sea Eagle scorches through Newcastle
While Hasler didn’t argue against duo Sean Keppie (32′) Martin Taupau (58′) both going to the sin bin for separate high shots, he did take aim at one particular play that he argued went unnoticed by the referee.
Taupau also appeared to be the victim of a high shot during the match when he wore a hit from Tyson Frizell, but one that didn’t result in a penalty or sin-binning, which Hasler felt should’ve resulted in marching orders.
“I admit we were ill-disciplined… let’s go to the sin bins – quite understand the rule about the sin bin, our player attacked the head, on report and 10 minutes.
“But when Martin (Taupau), when he was carrying the ball, he got hit high. If you come in contact with the head, forceful contact with the head, that’s sin-binned.
“They didn’t get sent to the sin bin. That’s not a whinge or a reflection of Newcastle, it’s a reflection on the inconsistency in regard to that rule.
“Well done to Newcastle, they got the two points, but they were ably assisted, let’s be honest.”
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