You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

NRL head of football Graham Annesley would have been comfortable if Cronulla centre Jesse Ramien was sent off against the Warriors on Sunday and his side became the first in two decades permanently reduced to 11 men after the earlier dismissal of Will Kennedy.

The match review committee hit the Sharks pair with identical grade three careless high tackle charges on Monday, with Ramien facing a ban of three-to-four matches and Kennedy two-to-three matches.

Yet Ramien was only sinbinned for his 54th minute tackle on Euan Aitken, whereas Kennedy was sent off in the 17th minute for a similar shot on Warriors fullback Reece Walsh.

Annesley was satisfied with the action taken by the match officials but admitted that Ramien could have followed Kennedy to the dressing room for the remainder of the match.

Kennedy sent off for high tackle

“Could there have been other action taken in the case of the second incident, or harsher action? Based on the circumstances in which the referee was confronted with, there could have been,” Annesley said at his weekly media briefing after the completion of round nine.

“They didn’t escape action, they were down to 11 players at one stage, and they now have an opportunity to defend the charges or seek a downgrade so I can’t go into it much further.

“Just in reference to the on-field decision, and nothing to do with the actual tackles themselves at this point, I think the actions taken by the match officials were reasonable in the circumstances.

“But would I have been unhappy if the second incident had resulted in a harsher on-field sanction? No, I wouldn’t have been unhappy with that either.”

By coincidence the Sharks were the last team to have two players sent off in the same match, with captain David Peachey and forward Dale Newton marched by referee Shayne Hayne in the 2003 clash with the Eels at Parramatta Stadium.

Dale Newton is sent off in the 2003 match against the Eels, along with Sharks captain David Peachey
Dale Newton is sent off in the 2003 match against the Eels, along with Sharks captain David Peachey ©NRL Photos

The only other occasion a team has had two players sent off in the NRL era was the very first game, between Brisbane and Manly at Suncorp Stadium in 1998, following the reunification of the code after the Super League war.

The Broncos had won the rebel competition in 1997, while the Sea Eagles were one of the ARL's flagship teams and had been runner-up to Newcastle in an epic grand final.

The opening game of the NRL was refereed by Bill Harrigan, who had not controlled a match involving Manly or an ARL-aligned team for three years, and he sent off Sea Eagles captain Geoff Toovey and winger John Hopoate for dissent in the dying minutes of the match, won 22-6 by the Broncos.  

Geoff Toovey watches from the sidelines in 1998.
Geoff Toovey watches from the sidelines in 1998. ©NRL Photos

Peachey was also sent off for dissent in the 47th minute of Cronulla's round 24 match in 2003 and Newton followed seven minutes later for a high tackle as the Sharks imploded.

With Cronulla prop Danny Nutley also later spending time in the sinbin, the Eels triumphed 74-4.

In contrast, the Sharks overcame the dismissal of Kennedy and Ramien’s stint in the sin-bin to beat the Warriors 29-10 on Sunday.

What is an obstruction?

Warriors winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak scored almost immediately after Kennedy’s send-off, and the visitors took the lead five minutes later when Viliami Vailea crossed.

However, the Warriors didn’t score another point as the Sharks became the first NRL team to win after having a player sent off since 2008.

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.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners