Ashley Klein becomes latest NRL referee 'rested' after furore over Roosters-Storm game

Roosters coach Trent Robinson was fuming after last week's game.

The NRL's referee policy has once again come under question after Ashley Klein was 'rested' for this weekend's on-field action after he took charge of the controversial Roosters and Melbourne clash last week. Roosters coach Trent Robinson was left fuming with the Bunker and referee after he claimed the Storm should not have been rewarded a try to Eli Katoa.

He also claimed the referee missed Reimis Smith 'disrupting' a Roosters player in the lead-up to Xavier Coates' try. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was also penalised for being the third man into a tackle, but replays showed he was making the challenge as the second man. "That was dangerous," Klein told Waerea-Heargreaves.

Ashley Klein reacts and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves makes a tackle.
Fans have once again questioned the NRL's decision to 'rest' Ashley Klein this weekend from on-field action after he took charge of the controversial Roosters and Melbourne clash last week. (Images: Getty Images/

Fox Sports commentator Greg Alexander claimed it was 'not a penalty' during commentary amid the frustration from the Roosters forward. Despite this, the Roosters also received some fortunate calls as Jahrome Hughes appeared to be taken out in a tackle when chasing the ball.

Michael Jennings also appeared to lose the ball in the tackle, in the 67th minute, before Joey Manu scored his try. Storm players could be heard yelling to the referee 'lost it' after the tackle. One of the big takeaway from the games was the 17 penalties handed out by Klein, which also added to the 22 errors from both sides. The game wasn't the best of the season. However, the NRL have now announced Klein will be 'rested' this weekend from on-field duty.

The decision to 'rest' referees continues to raise eyebrows in the NRL world with many questioning the timing of the rotation. This is despite the NRL doubling down that the referees are simlply 'rotated and rested', nothing more. Klein will feature in the bunker this weekend. The NRL announced it would employ a rotation for referees this year, which would grant one of them a break for the round. This has also allowed young referees to be given time in charge earlier on in their careers.

The Rosters coach was especially not happy when Eliesa Katoa scored with slight help getting across the line from Nelson Asofa-Solomona. The Bunker did not see anything wrong with the move and awarded the try. And Robinson took aim at the decision in a post-match blow-up. “It’s really clear. The rules are really clear,” he said in frustration.


“The rules came out at the end of the year and if you lend weight to a tackler in stationary or forward momentum, then it’ll either be stopped or if it’s in a try scoring situation, it’ll be a penalty. It’s really simple. He runs in, he lends weight, touches his player and (Michael) Jennings. Did he lend weight to the play? Yes he did. It’s not that hard. It was really clear.”

Trent Robinson reacts before a game.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson (pictured) was not happy with the Bunker performance last week.

However, the bunker also deemed James Tedesco's trip on Ryan Papenhuyzen was not a sin-bin. After a kick-chase, Tedesco was wrong-footed when attempting to tackle Papenhuyzen. He stuck a hand out to grab him, but also put his foot out and clipped the Storm fullback. The Storm No.1 went down from the trip.

Papenhuyzen immediately blew up at Tedesco's actions, and the Roosters captain was penalised and placed on report. But many felt there should have been stronger action taken, and Andrew Johns pointed out in commentary for Channel 9 that a trip used to be an automatic send-off not so long ago.