Dan Walsh, staff writer
Roosters coach Trent Robinson has labelled referee Ben Cummins' performance "unacceptable" as his side was on the wrong end of an 11-2 penalty count in their tight 8-nil loss to Manly
The Roosters have now conceded 38 penalties this year while being awarded just 22 in return, and Robinson was scathing in his assessment of the officials' performance during the grand final rematch.
""It was unacceptable from Ben Cummins,” said Robinson, who was at a loss as to explain why his side had lost the penalty count heavily in three of their four matches.
"I can’t answer why we’re not receiving penalties."
"This has been the case against the Roosters over decades, so I can’t answer that."
Robinson also insinuated that sides were 'lying down' against the premiers in a bid to earn penalties.
"We don’t play for penalties. We openly talk about it. We say we are not going to lie down, we’re going to stand up and keep fighting.
"It’s not in the spirit of the game. People are talking about lots of different areas of the game and what they need to police.
"Stop people lying down. We don’t want to have to lie down to get penalties. It’s not what we do here and we’re proud of that."
Taking aim at Cummins, Robinson claimed the senior referee and his assistant Gavin Reynolds were not on the same page during the match, and had provided direction to Manly players at breaks in play to avoid infringements.
"He’s [Cummins] talked to Jamie Buhrer about being offside at the first tackle off a scrum on two occasions – well, penalise it.
"He’s takled to Jamie Buhrer about hands in the ruck at a scrum, get your hands out of the ruck. Well, penalise them."
"They’re coaching Manly to not give the penalties. It’s just unacceptable."
Enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves ended up on report for an 18th minute shot that knocked Sea Eagles lock Glenn Stewart unconscious and ruled the veteran out for the rest of the match, but Robinson said he didn’t have an issue with the tackle or the ruling given by the referees.
"I thought it was in the right timing and it was unfortunate that Glenn couldn’t come back... It was just a normal tackle… it wasn’t within cooee of a shoulder charge."
Despite the loss, which leaves the Roosters with a 2-2 win-loss record after a month of football, Robinson said his side could take positives out of their defensive effort.
"That’s our best performance tonight defensively.
"There was some heart there in that defence, it was living and breathing tonight, which we’re proud of. That was great to see."