Roosters coach Trent Robinson has unloaded on the ‘incompetent’ officiating that saw the Eels escape punishment when Dylan Brown came sliding in with knees on Drew Hutchison, sending him to hospital with a suspected punctured lung.
In the final minute of the second half during the Tricolours’ loss to Parramatta, Hutchison copped a nasty shot to the ribs from Brown, who appeared lead in with the knees while the five-eighth had dived in for a try that was later waved off by the bunker.
The no-call, which left many scratching their heads, could’ve been a sin-binning offence, while that same question was also asked of Marata Niukore who cleaned up James Tedesco earlier in the sequence with a high shot.
It also shut down any possibility of a debut for 18th-man Joseph Suaalii, who was denied his shot because Brown was not cited.
As the second-half got underway, officials then communicated with the Roosters that upon review, they had decided to retrospectively place Brown on report.
But with the play behind them, that did little to help the Roosters’ cause. And Robinson didn’t pull any punches when he fronted the media following his side’s loss.
“There was no action on the field, no action whatsoever on the field,” Robinson told reporters at his post-match press conference.
“I don’t know how they’re going to judge that, but we couldn’t even replace Drew with the free interchange because it wasn’t even on report at that stage.
“They looked at it 10 times and they couldn’t even find anything.
“Then they had all of half-time, and we run out on the field and they say it’s on report now. They could have told us 10 minutes in so I could have changed it in the dressing room. But they told us as we were running out on the field.
“So, I had to make a split-second change as soon as we ran out on the field. It’s ridiculous.
“It’s incompetent. To not see that, the guy goes to hospital and then 20 minutes later you put him on report. It’s ridiculous.”
NRL Highlights: The Eels hold on against a injury riddled Roosters side – Round 9
Sharks legend Paul Gallen said he could see where a clearly frustrated Robinson was coming from.
“I agree with him. Everyone in the stadium could see there were knees in the back,” Gallen said.
“I thought he was pretty lucky to stay on the field, I thought it was 10 in the sin bin, I thought we were going to see Joseph Suaalii. Everyone here saw it, I don’t know how the video didn’t see it. I’m very, very surprised that it wasn’t picked up straight away.”
Storm great Billy Slater agreed and conceded both Eels players had cause to be sin-binned in the play.
“I thought both of them were extremely lucky to stay out there,” Slater said.
“It was a period there where the Parramatta Eels were extremely lucky to not go down to not just 12 men but 11 men.”
Broncos legend Darren Lockyer was equally baffled as to how officials failed to take any action on the clearly serious incident.
“The time that they had to think about all of this, Drew there in how much pain he is, I can’t fathom why they didn’t dive into that incident more. They made a mistake, and I’m sure they will own up to it,” Lockyer said.
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!