Matt Encarnacion & Dan Walsh
Roosters coach Trent Robinson believes Eels forward Darcy Lussick should've been sent off for his swinging arm on Jared Waerea-Hargreaves in their clash at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.
Lussick was put on report by head referee Gavin Badger in the 17th minute of Parramatta's heavy 56-4 loss
, after flooring his former Manly teammate with a dangerous tackle that immediately sent both sides into a mini-scuffle.
The Eels forward stayed on only to again be involved in a heavy collision with Waerea-Hargreaves two tackles later.
"That was pretty clear that that was a send off. I'm not sure what more you want to see," Robinson said of the first tackle.
"I expect that to be the response [from the match review committee], but there was obviously a reason that they didn't want to send him off.
"The video ref needed to help on that, and then there was the second head high straight after it which they didn't want to penalise otherwise they knew that had to send him off. That's disappointing."
Waerea-Hargreaves said the second tackle was legal, but "the first one got me a little bit".
"We played 20s together, obviously it was high and the ref thought so and we'll leave it to the match review to handle it," he said.
"We had a yarn afterwards and he apologised. What happens on the field happens on the field. We're back to mates off the field. I just said, 'All good.' I copped one and we'll move on."
The Roosters prop said that in previous years, he might've reacted differently to the situation.
"A couple of years ago I might've seen red, but these days you mature a bit and you don't want to let the other boys in the team down so you just get back to what you're doing," he said.
There is no suggestion that Waerea-Hargreaves was concussed by the hit, but Robinson said that given both the NRL's changes in the concussion laws over the summer and Waerea-Hargreaves' big suspension from a similar incident last season, he was interested to hear the explanation from the match review committee.
"After all we've gone through in the game in the off-season, that needed to be dealt with. So it was last year for us and it needed to be this year for them. I'm interested in their response," he said.
Waerea-Hargreaves was the first player sent off last season for his head high tackle on former Manly prop George Rose, eventually taking an early guilty plea that rubbed him out for five matches. Robinson said he couldn't see much difference between the two tackles.
"I don't look at the fine points, but it was a stiff arm, he came from a long way, it was intentional, it was clear," he said.
Eels forward Joseph Paulo leapt to the defence of his under-fire teammate, saying it definitely wasn't intentional.
"Definitely not," Paulo said. "That's just the power of the big man. Things either come off or they don't, and he obviously went for a big shot but it didn't come off. I know next week he'll be working on his technique and maintaining that powerful and tough game he always plays.
"It's obviously out of frustration. That's just Darcy's game. He's always been a physical and powerful player. We'll definitely see more of that, but obviously keeping it clean and tough as he always plays."