NRL fans and commentators have been left to question why Bailey Simonsson wasn't sent off rather than sin-binned after a brutal high shot that knocked James Tedesco out of the Sydney Roosters' clash with Parramatta on Thursday night. Tedesco was hit late and high by Simonsson in the 24th minute of the Roosters' 28-20 win, with the Eels winger racing in and collecting 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.
"This should have been a send off," Johnathan Thurston said on Channel 9. "I truly believe that should have been a send off."
Simonsson with a MASSIVE hit on Tedesco. And he's sent to the bin for it.
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Billy Slater added: "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.”
Roosters coach Trent Robinson later said he was 'ropeable' at the time that Simonsson wasn't sent-off, but had changed his tune after watching replays. “It was disappointing to lose Teddy so early, and the contact - yeah I don’t know to be honest - I was expecting a send off to be honest, I was ropeable at the time that it wasn’t a send off,” Robinson said.
“Then I looked at it after the game and I was a bit more sort of 50/50 about what I thought and I took some time to have a look at it. I guess that’s where it ended up.”
NRL fans left fuming over James Tedesco incident
Tedesco will automatically miss next Thursday's clash with the Melbourne Storm due to the NRL's new 11-day stand-down policy for concussed players. He will not be able to resume contact training until part way through their preparations for the round seven match against Cronulla.
"I knew 20 minutes into the game that I have lost him for two weeks. It wasn't a great feeling," Robinson said. "The first thing was to see how he was. He looked pretty good in there. He remembered. We were talking about the height and contact."
Robinson called on the NRL to make a definitive call on whether head-high contact should merit a send-off, considering the new protocols can effectively see players miss two games for concussions. "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."
Parramatta coach Brad Arthur said he wasn't sure if Simonsson made any contact with Tedesco's head. He was more concerned with discussing Will Penisini's sin-binning earlier in the match for a professional foul when he was caught offside with the Roosters on attack.
"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."
Fans were left fuming that Simonsson wasn't sent off, with many labelling it a 'joke' and 'pathetic' that he was allowed to come back on.
What a joke that Simonsson is still on the field. #NRLRoostersEels
— Craig M (@diminutiverowdy) March 30, 2023
That was a clear send off.
Shoulder charge to the head after passing the ball..
What is going on @NRL
— Duke25 (@Duke2517) March 30, 2023
shoulder charge direct to the head and gets 10 😭😭😭😭😭
— Ezy (@swint_7) March 30, 2023
Definitely should have been a send off
— Samwise1205 (@samwise1205) March 30, 2023
Should've been a send-off.
— Ian Stewart (@Stewandfryit) March 30, 2023
Disgusting. Ten minutes for a late and dangerous tackle.
— trish maidens (@TrishMaidens) March 30, 2023
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