Anthony Seibold unleashes over 'ridiculous' NRL rule 'dudding' Manly

NRL fans were left in disbelief as the ruling that may have cost Manly the match.

Reuben Garrick tackled in the air and Manly coach Anthony Seibold speaking.
Manly coach Anthony Seibold (pictured right) has erupted at the NRL over a controversial rule that allowed Rueben Garrick (pictured left) to be tackled in the air. (Images: Fox Sports)

Manly coach Anthony Seibold has unleashed at the NRL over a controversial rule that allowed Rueben Garrick to be hit in the air after taking the ball on the bounce, which cost the Sea Eagles in the final moments against the Warriors. In a thrilling battle in New Zealand, the Warriors managed a 29-22 victory over Manly to all but secure a top four finish.

However, the game was clouded in controversy and the biggest moment came in the final few minutes when Garrick lost control of the ball after being tackled in the air. Daly Cherry-Evans put up a bomb with the score at 22-all when it landed on the ground and took a wicked bounce.

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Garrick was the first to react and jumped up into the air to take the huge bounce first. But instead of hesitating, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad charged into Garrick and took out his legs. The Manly player landed on his back as he lost control of the ball.

Many expected a penalty to be blown for dangerous play. However, the ruling states that if a ball has bounced, it is not illegal to tackle a player in mid-air. Since the tackle didn't make head-high contact, it was play on.

Garrick played on, but was in pain after landing on his back. The Warriors went up the other side of the field and scored moments later to seal the victory. After the match, coach Seibold erupted in the press conference and took aim at the NRL.

"It was ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous. That's a penalty every day of the week," Seibold said post-match. "The rule says it's not because the ball bounced, or it wasn't a kick, but how many times do we pull a tackle up for a slight crusher, give a penalty?

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The Warriors defeated Manly in their round 25 NRL clash after a controversial call against Reuben Garrick (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

"Or someone slipping up from the chest to the jaw and it's a penalty? Like fair dinkum, let's be serious. We go two points up with six minutes to go there.

"(Instead), they get the ball back, Reuben can't run. We make a poor defensive error but our fullback can't run and we're saying it's not a dangerous tackle. It was a dangerous tackle. He was injured. He couldn't finish the game. And it's our season on the line so I am pissed off about it."

NRL world erupts over Manly's Rueben Garrick drama

NRL fans were similar with many in disbelief the game, which has moved to protect players, would allow a rule for a player with the ball to be tackled in mid-air. Many called for an immediate change to the rules.

Seibold was extra livid because Manly were also on the wrong end of a poor miss from officials last week when Penrith, while trailing the Sea Eagles 12-6, scored a try on the stroke of halftime after a clear knock on from Panthers back-rower Liam Martin.

Penrith went on to win 24-12 to leave Seibold's side walking the finals tightrope "It's two weeks in a row that we got dud decisions," Seibold said.

"I'll get a phone call from (NRL officiating liaison officer) Dave Fairleigh or somebody tomorrow from the NRL and they'll apologise and say that's the correct decision or it wasn't a dangerous tackle. Our CEO will cop a call about it from (NRL head of football) Graham Annesley and Graham will come out with the video on Monday and they'll go through the rigmarole of it but that is a dead-set penalty.

"Two weeks in a row. Two weeks in a row against top-four teams, and you need a bounce of the ball or you need a call to go your way. I (usually) bite my tongue. I'm not a coach who comes out and has a whinge but I'm sick of it."

with AAP

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