Ennis on report; Keary's alleged eye gouge
Sharks hooker Michael Ennis has a nervous wait to find out if he will miss his side's semi final against the Cowboys next week, while Rabbitohs five-eighth Luke Keary is on report for an eye gouge after a sometimes spiteful Elimination Final.
Ennis was placed on report for a swinging arm on Chris McQueen in the 68th minute while Souths captain Greg Inglis is also on report for a swinging arm on rival captain Paul Gallen in the 64th minute.
Gallen was also the victim of a possible eye gouge that left Keary on report, though Gallen himself insisted there was nothing in it and he had cleared the air with the Rabbitohs' half on the field during the game.
The big concern during the week will be for Ennis; he has a prior similar incident – a swinging arm that almost cost him his place in Origin III and will attract loading if he is charged, though his 28 carry over points from that incident will have since evaporated.
A lowest grade charge – a grade one careless high tackle – would mean he could escape a ban with an early guilty plea though anything higher would be a concern.
"He got put on report so that's a worry, but for me he's coming over the player's shoulder," Sharks coach Shane Flanagan said after the game.
"If he's just affecting a tackle – there was a few of those in the game, I know Gal got hit by one."
Flanagan believes the game needed to be careful not to dilute its product with overzealous disciplinary action.
"We've got to be really careful, we play a pretty tough game here," he said.
"We've got to be really careful we don't dilute the product that we've got. It's a real combative sport."
He said the sport had already made great strides recently in the area of player welfare with concussion provisions and tackle technique.
"That was a great contest today played in the right spirit," he added.
Gallen hosed down concerns over Keary's alleged eye gouge.
"He didn't mean it. He didn't mean it at all and I mean that, I'm not trying to stick up for him – he didn't know where my eye was, he just grabbed me, he was trying to get me to the ground," Gallen said.
"There's nothing in it for me as far as I'm concerned, what's done is done, we got the win. I spoke to him during the game, he was giving it to me at a scrum, I gave it back then he just said 'I didn't mean it'. I knew he didn't mean it, there was nothing in it, let's just get on with it."