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Kobe Hetherington should not have been sent off while Kevin Proctor should have been sin-binned for their respective high tackles, according to NRL head of football Graham Annesley.

The Broncos forward was sent off after his shoulder made contact with the head of a falling Raiders forward Corey Harawira-Naera, while Proctor was only placed on report for a high swinging arm on Joseph Manu.

Annesley did not believe there had been any failures in terms of the way the officials were implementing the crackdown on high contact, rather that these two cases were simple cases of human error with officials incorrectly applying judgement to the specific criteria they have.

"I think a send-off in that case was probably too extreme," Annesley said of Hetherington's dismissal.

"From my perspective, send-offs are reserved for the most extreme incidents where there is very reckless action or intent involved.

Hetherington sent off for high shot on Harawira-Naera

"On balance this didn’t display those characteristics and while there was most certainly contact from shoulder to head, a sin bin would have been a better outcome."

However, Annesley said he could understand how the officials arrived at their and could not be overly critical of them.

"We don’t expect them to be match reviewers, we don't expect them to forensically analyse aspects of tackles in the way the match review committee do," he said.

Proctor banned for high shot on Manu

"I can understand why they arrived at the decision they did but I think they’ve acted too strongly in that case."

He voiced similar thoughts on the Proctor incident.

"In hindsight, the Bunker review officials, if they had their time again, certainly should have advised the referee to send Kevin to the sin bin.

"No one is suggesting there was anything malicious or intentional in the tackle but clearly based on the approach we've taken since Magic Round, that was the type of tackle that should have resulted in a sin bin.

"It was just a judgement error - hopefully we don’t see that again for that type of tackle because the officials and Bunker have been pretty consistent."

Annesley broadly welcomed a drop in the number of total weekly cases resulting in attention from the match review committee since the crackdown was introduced a month ago.

He also reiterated his preference for players and coaches to self-police the issue of diving for penalties, with the issue raising its head again in round 14.

It's a very tough issue to police and there would be no more rule change to address it until next season at the earliest, if ever, he added.

"Are we seeing gamesmanship around that? I think we probably are," he said.

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"What's the answer? I think that's much more difficult. The real answer, the easy answer, is for the players and coaches to address it.

"If a player is not genuinely hurt he should get up and he should play on."

Annesley also addressed the confusion around why Victor Radley, Angus Crichton and Josh Papalii were each able to serve one week of their respective multi-week suspensions in State of Origin I, despite the offences occurring before teams were selected.

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Once the players are suspended they and their clubs make an application to the judiciary chair Geoff Bellew with supporting documentation from the states asserting that they would have been picked in the Origin match.

Bellew then weighs up the evidence and makes a determination, which is not always to accept the application.

However, in these three cases Bellew accepted they would have been selected. Radley made an application to also count Origin II as one of his five games, though Bellew regarded that as more speculative and declined the request.

Acknowledgement of Country

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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