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National Rugby League Referees Coach Robert Finch has conceded that the actions of Sharks player Luke Douglas at Brookvale Oval on Sunday did not warrant a “send-off” despite the forward today being charged with a Grade 1 Careless High Tackle.<br><br>Mr Finch has said that the consistency of rulings by referees this year should have seen the matter placed on report and a penalty awarded on-field.<br><br>“It was a harsh decision in the circumstances and you can understand the Sharks being upset,” Mr Finch said.<br><br>“Having reviewed all the vision and audio, it is clear that the video referee, Phil Cooley, suggested the matter certainly deserved being put on report and that the referee made his own decision from there in terms of the send-off, which he is entitled to do.<br><br>“I respect the fact that Phil Haines is prepared to make decisions but we also have to accept when they are wrong.<br><br>“He’s a good referee who will learn from the experience and this won’t have any impact on future decisions by other referees.<br><br>“Send-offs remain there for an important reason and if the referee has a clear view of an illegal act that warrants a send-off then he should use the send-off rule.<br><br>“If he is in doubt as to either the circumstances or severity of the offence then he has the option of placing a player on report.<br><br>“These are options that the referees have used extremely well for the most part of the season and there won’t be any change to their approach going forward.”
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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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