Des Hasler's staggering new claim amid NRL referee controversy

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Manly coach Des Hasler says his criticism of referee Ben Cummins was not outside the bounds of accetable conversation. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Manly coach Des Hasler says his criticism of referee Ben Cummins was not outside the bounds of accetable conversation. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Manly head coach Des Hasler maintains he didn't say anything to bring NRL referees into disrepute after it was announced the NRL was investigating his post-game suggestions one side had been favoured.

The Sea Eagle fell to a resurgent Parramatta side last weekend 22-20, after the Eels produced a touch of mangic in the second half to get over the line.

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Hasler could yet find himself in hot water after suggesting Parramatta had been 'legged back into the game' by referee Ben Cummins.

Those comments remain under review by the NRL, however Hasler maintains his opinions on Cummins' performance did not go too far.

Speaking ahead of Thursday night's showdown against the Melbourne Storm, Hasler said he didn't believe he had said anything 'controversial'.

"I don't even remember what I said, I wouldn't have said anything controversial that's for sure," Hasler said on Wednesday.

"The only thing that we asked to be reviewed was the ruling and the inconsistencies around the 10 metres and we both agreed on that."

Hasler said he had spoken to the league over the matter, and walked away happy with the talks.

"The NRL were very good, we went through the usual steps and the usual processes," Hasler said.

"We had conversations around that and we were able to clarify everything we needed to clarify."

Hasler wasn't the only Sea Eagle in hot water, with prop Josh Aloiai claiming Cummins had done Manly "no favours" and done "a bad job" late in the game.

The final penalty count of 9-2 in favour of the Eels was also cited by Hasler after the loss.

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Hasler's chief grievance remains the decision to penalise Christian Tuipulotu for a high shot on Hayze Perham, after he rushed across in cover defence and forced him out near the corner.

On-field officials initially deemed the tackle legal before the bunker reviewed it and claimed the contact was high and ensured a penalty was blown.

The Eels remained on the attack for the next four minutes before scoring the match winner.

Tuipulotu was not charged on Saturday, but NRL football bosses were privately adamant the right call was made, arguing slow-motion replays and still shots show contact with the head.

They were also insistent that while mitigating factors meant Tuipulotu did not need to be charged, an on-field sanction was warranted.

"Although there is contact with the head, the action was not deemed careless," match review committee chair Luke Patten said.

"The Manly defender is aiming at the body and is not on an upwards trajectory.

"The ball carrier drops in height just before impact. The on-field penalty was considered sufficient action."

Des Hasler and the Manly Sea Eagles are still privately unhappy about the refereeing in their loss to Parramatta last weekend. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Des Hasler and the Manly Sea Eagles are still privately unhappy about the refereeing in their loss to Parramatta last weekend. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The call was one of several in the last 10 minutes that upset Hasler, who also claimed Parramatta's last pass for their match-winning try was forward and that the Eels earned a repeat set from an offside kick-chaser.

"It wasn't high," Hasler said of the Tuipolotu tackle.

"It was a good tackle. It was a brave tackle. They're called a try save.

"The idea of the game is defence and the idea of a try save is to come up with big plays.

"It was a great play. It just adds to the disappointment on the result on the back of a 9-2 penalty count. They got legged back into the game.

"Some very dubious calls ... I'm sure Benny (referee Ben Cummins) will review his game."

The NRL is still to review the match in full, but AAP understands they believe there were no serious blunders.

With AAP

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