The National Rugby League (NRL) has issued the Sydney Roosters with a Breach Notice and a total fine of $40,000 for the alleged abuse of match officials during Friday night’s game against the South Sydney Rabbitohs and public comments made at the post match media conference which are alleged to have breached the NRL’s Code of Conduct.
The Breach Notice proposes a $10,000 fine for alleged abuse of match officials during the match, a $20,000 fine for comments made by the Head Coach Trent Robinson following the match and a suspended $10,000 fine will also be activated, if the Club is found to have breached NRL Rules regarding public commentary on match officials.
The particulars of the Breach Notice are:
Abuse of Match Officials
It is alleged Sydney Roosters officials made abusive comments towards on-field match officials and the stand-by referee during the match. The Club has also been warned that a repeat of such conduct will result in individuals having their access to the sideline removed during the Finals Series.
It’s alleged at the post match media conference Sydney Roosters Head Coach Trent Robinson claimed match officials had a bias against the Sydney Roosters and exposed individual match officials to personal ridicule in contravention of NRL Rules. In considering the penalty the NRL took into account Robinson had been issued with a Breach Notice for similar conduct in May this year for which a suspended $10,000 fine was imposed.
The NRL is continuing to investigate allegations a Sydney Roosters player had an altercation with a broadcast cameraman during the game. No determination has been made at this time.
NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo said he expected clubs in an elite competition to show a higher level of professionalism.
“Sport can be highly emotional and sometimes people will debate decisions made on the field and we expect all Clubs to deal with on-field matters respectfully,’’ he said.
“We can analyse and debate decisions, but such commentary should not be personalised and disrespectful. In our view there was a lack of professionalism shown by the Club and its officials across Friday night. We’re an elite competition and we should set the standard for how to deal with adversity.”
Mr Abdo issued a warning to all Clubs that abuse of match officials would not be tolerated in the Finals Series.
“There is no place for the abuse or harassment of match officials by club officials on the sideline. It’s not tolerated in community sport and it’s certainly not tolerated in elite sport. It is important that at the highest level all Club officials control their emotions and set an example to everyone in our sport.
“We will not hesitate to remove the sideline access of any official who repeatedly makes abusive comments towards our match officials.”
Mr Abdo said the NRL acknowledged an incorrect decision was made on Friday night.
“We believe the bunker should have dismissed the player from the field. We have been very open about that and we acted quickly to amend the match appointments for the remainder of the round,’’ he said.
“But regardless of their decisions, right or wrong, our match officials are always entitled to the respect of our participants for the difficult work they do.”
The Sydney Roosters have 5 business days to respond to the Breach Notice.