Brad Arthur lashes out over costly sin-bin calls in Parramatta loss
The Eels coach was left ruing his team's chances after a tough game.
Eels coach Brad Arthur has questioned whether his team should have been playing with 12 men for 20 minutes of the match in their tough 28-20 loss to the Roosters on Thursday night. The Eels were left ruing their efforts after both Will Penisini and Bailey Simonsson were binned in the first-half.
The Eels couldn't garner field position with the man down and the Roosters piled on the points before the end of the half to leave Parramatta with a mountain to climb. Early on, Penisini was sin-binned for a professional foul when he failed to get back 10 metres during a Roosters attack close to the line.
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When he returned to the field, Tedesco was hit late and high by Simonsson in the 24th minute. The Eels winger raced up and collected Tedesco in the face with his shoulder.
The Roosters fullback later failed his HIA (Head Injury Assessment) and took no further part in the game after the eighth concussion of his career. Simonsson was sent for 10 minutes in the sin-bin for his actions, but many were left gobsmacked that he wasn't sent-off for the rest of the game.
Simonsson's shot has divided fans with many calling for a harsher punishment for his ugly shot. But Eels coach Arthur was particularly critical of the decision to sin-bin Penisini and said the centre didn't even attempt to make a tackle.
"He made the effort to get back," Arthur said. "Mitchell Moses made the tackle. I don't know if he got the full 10 metres but he didn't engage with anyone and make a tackle. They ran into him. And Mitchell made the tackle."
Trent Robinson calls for clarification over head-high tackle
Roosters coach Trent Robinson joined the chorus of viewers to question whether the punishment for Simonsson was harsh enough considering Tedesco could miss two weeks for the illegal shot. Tedesco will automatically miss next Thursday's clash with Melbourne, and will not be able to resume contact training until part way through their preparations for round seven against Cronulla.
However, Robinson did admit it was a grey area in the NRL due to the new concussion protocol measures. "I don't want to talk about that incident in particular because I know Simonsson didn't leave the ground," Robinson said.
"But Ted is now out for two weeks and it was high contact. Based on where we are at at the moment, they need to let us know whether that is 10 minutes or a send-off. Where we need to get to, I don't know. I sit on the fence on this one."
Former NRL players agreed Simonsson was fortunate to stay on the field. On Channel Nine, Billy Slater said: "He's hit him in the head. You've got a duty of care not to hit anyone in the head, especially when you're rushing in like that.
"You've got to lower your level. It's not going to end well for Bailey Simonsson, unfortunately."
Michael Ennis said on Fox Sports: "He came in and landed with his shoulder and hit James Tedesco in the head and I thought he was lucky not to be sent off to be honest. I don’t think there was malice in it, but it was direct contact to the head and with what we have seen, it is something we are trying to stamp out of the game.
“Obviously he went off for the sin-bin and Tedesco won’t return. But I thought Simonsson was lucky to stay on the field.”
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