A frustrated James Tedesco has urged the NRL to ramp up its on-field punishment of foul play after his pleas for the incident that hospitalised teammate Drew Hutchison to be reviewed took 20 minutes to be acted on.
The Roosters have been left reeling once more by a brutal injury toll headlined by Hutchison's suspected fractured ribs and punctured lung against Parramatta in Friday night's 31-18 loss.
Eels star Dylan Brown was eventually cited for sliding into Hutchison with his knees and teammate Marata Niukore was also put on report for a high shot on Tedesco moments earlier, with the bunker officials involved stood down for the rest of round nine on Saturday morning.
While coach Trent Robinson labelled the delayed citing as "incompetent", stand-in skipper Tedesco said he immediately asked on-field referee Matt Cecchin to ensure Brown's contact on Hutchison was reviewed by the bunker.
A penalty was eventually awarded for Niukore's hit on the star fullback, but the Roosters claim the reporting of both players was not communicated until the second half was about to start, a critical interchange impact given Robinson was already reduced to two fit men on his bench.
The minimum three and two-week suspensions faced by Brown and Niukore respectively will see the Eels impacted further down the line rather than during Friday's clash, which Parramatta led 18-10 when the contest erupted.
Furious Robinson labels Hutchison incident 'incompetent'
Asked if he was frustrated with the foul play's handling, Tedesco said: "Yes. It happened to Drew and I was the same as well and there were a few others as well.
"I don't know what we can do about it because you can only say so much to the ref and hopefully they make the right calls.
"Cecchin said at half-time that he didn't see that and that he only saw my one.
"I told him a fair few times that [Brown] was leading with the knees, but then there wasn't a call on that which was quite confusing.
"I found that weird that they watched it a fair few times and then waited until half-time to put him on report.
"There was plenty of time to watch it and it was pretty obvious. I don't know why something more wasn't done at the time. It was confusing."
Tedesco himself was returning from a one-week lay-off due to concussion symptoms at Bankwest Stadium, but said he felt no immediate or lasting effects from Niukora's hitting him in the head.
During the week the NRL issued a release stating that "on-field officials and the NRL Bunker have been encouraged to use the sin bin or send-off mechanisms for contact deemed careless or reckless and involving a significant degree of force around the head and neck."
That the memo was followed within 72 hours by the dramatic incidents at Bankwest was not lost on Tedesco.
"I try to tell the ref as much as I can and try to stay on top of it when I see something like that, but then it's up to them to make the right calls," Tedesco responded when asked if mixed messages were being sent on foul play.
"I don't know what more the players can do."
Match Highlights: Eels v Roosters
Despite yet more injuries adding to the best part of $4 million in talent sidelined at the Roosters, Tedesco hailed his battered side's commitment to push Parramatta all the way.
Rookie half Sam Walker was another concern as he battled through a late ankle issue to finish the game, while Victor Radley's night was ended after just nine minutes when he failed a HIA.
Back-rower Sitili Tupouniua will return from suspension against the Cowboys next week.
Playmaker Lachlan Lam was also due to make his comeback from a knee injury in Friday's NSW Cup curtain-raiser, only for that return to be scuppered by an NRL-wide return to level three Apollo restrictions.
The Roosters pulled their top 30 players from reserve grade duty to ensure they can remain inside their first grade bubble in case the protocols are kept in place next week for Magic Round.
"When you look at our effort, [Parramatta] are a top-four side," Tedesco said.
"I think if we played some of the lower teams then we would have got the win even though we were up against it.
"Our games against the top sides, we haven't come away with the win, but the effort and the fight has been there.
"We're missing a lot of leaders and the injury toll is growing, but it's not the end of the world.
"We're a really close group and there are a lot of young guys coming through who are debuting and stepping up.
"It is really good and I'm pretty proud to be captain of these guys and to lead them as best as possible. We're still fighting and we're putting in the effort."