Roosters coach Trent Robinson has called on the NRL to clarify its high tackle rulings when ball carriers slip into contact after Sio Siua Taukeiaho was sin-binned for a game-turning hit on Penrith's Nathan Cleary.
The Roosters led 12-6 at Blue Bet Stadium when Cleary went to the line and slipped into contact, with Taukeiaho's shoulder hitting the halfback in the head.
Had Cleary held his footing, contact would have been made around his waist, and on-field referee Ashley Klein appeared to rule that a penalty was sufficient before being advised by the bunker that Taukeiaho should be sat down.
As Roosters captain James Tedesco argued the point Klein told him there were no "mitigating circumstances", despite Cleary losing his footing before contact.
A frustrated Robinson was backed up in part by Penrith coach Ivan Cleary after the 38-12 thumping, with the Panthers coach conceding "that was probably one where, what is the defender meant to do?".
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Robinson was more bullish, having previously been one of the strongest coaching proponents of the crackdown on high tackles over the past six weeks.
"I don't know where Siua was supposed to go," Robinson said.
"Is he supposed to jump out of the way? I'm interested in what was he supposed to do.
"Ashley was fine with it and then the bunker decides to jump in again, now we've got two referees on the field again?
"Ashley looked at it on the replay and they said 'no you've got to send him off'.
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"I'm interested, in what physically, did you want Siua to do there?
"I think the NRL needs to explain what happens in those instances. What do they want them to do. I'd be interested to know."
Robinson pointed to a separate incident that saw Kiwi international Joey Manu taken from the field for a HIA, claiming he had been shoulder charged by a Panthers player who escaped sanction.
Penrith scored 14 points while Taukeiaho was off the field, with Robinson calling out what he sees as inconsistencies in the crackdown's enforcement.
“It is tough. Everyone knows what we are doing," Robinson said.
"We have to look after our players and we all agree with it, but they are picking and choosing and I’ve been disappointed with the Roosters way that they have been picking and choosing this year.
"There is no one on report and nothing gets seen to. I have to get Joey Manu off during that period as well, but the bunker doesn’t go back and look at that."
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