Trent Robinson had flashbacks to the tackle in which Cooper Cronk played a grand final with an injury typically seen in car crash victims, but refused to condemn a late shot that left his star playmaker writhing on the SCG turf on Sunday.
Cronk was in the thick of everything as usual as the Roosters powered to a 42-6 win over the Warriors, including the latest in a spate of late shots on playmakers as defensive conduct comes under the microscope.
Jazz Tevaga was sin-binned and the match review committee on Monday will announce if he has a case to answer for his 69th-minute hit on Cronk in which he belted the veteran No.7 in the back, in roughly the same spot as the fractured scapula he carried through last year's grand final win over the Storm.
Cronk's injury afterwards was described as that usually only seen in car crash victims.
The Roosters are confident the retirement-bound Cronk will be fit for Saturday's clash with the Dragons after the Tevaga hit, but Robinson did briefly fear the worst when he saw his champion playmaker floored.
"It probably flashed through my mind just because of seeing him down there like that," Robinson said.
"To see Cooper down there like that, there is a split second of thought there.
"It didn’t get better. Usually it's a hit and you think 'oh he'll recover'.
Tevaga sent to the sin bin for late tackle on Cronk
"But it actually got worse the longer the game went. He's OK. When it progressively got tighter and sorer than we just had to get him off. He's OK but [was] not good enough to continue the game."
Robinson declined to comment on Tevaga's hit. The NRL match review committee has dished out suspensions recently for tackles by Luke Garner and Viliame Kikau on attacking players at the line.
"I saw it once," Robinson said.
"I’ll leave the opinion up to someone else. I think I have to as well."
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney conceded Tevaga's shot was illegal, but was hopeful his utility forward would avoid suspension.
"Jazz's one, it's split-second," Kearney said.
"I know you're not supposed to hit him but I didn't think, watching it live, I didn't think there was a great deal in it.
"Again but, he knows the rules. You can't hit guys in the back like that."
Match Highlights: Roosters v Warriors