Kevin Walters hits out after three Broncos sin-binned in NRL loss

The Brisbane Broncos coach says he couldn't afford the likely NRL fine headed his way had he been honest about his thoughts.

Patrick Carrigan is sent to the sin-bin on the left, with Broncos coach Kevin Walters pictured right.
Brisbane Broncos coach Kevin Walters held his tongue when asked about the three sin-bins given to is players in their loss to the Storm. Pictures: Getty Images

Brisbane Broncos coach Kevin Walters has held his tongue after being asked about the refereeing in their 24-16 defeat at the hands of the Melbourne Storm, which saw four players sent to the sin-bin throughout. An irate Walters after the game quipped that his contract at Brisbane was 'not big enough to pay the fine' he would surely have been handed by the NRL had he been honest with his thoughts.

Walters said he was most frustrated by the fact the Broncos had been trailing the Storm for the majority of the match - but with three Broncos sent to the sin-bin throughout the course of the match, the veteran coach said it was hard to score with one less man on the field. Herbie Farnworth, Pat Carrigan and Tom Flegler were all told to sit for 10 minutes for various indiscretions throughout the match.

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Farnworth, who had earned the opening score of the game thanks to a penalty try against Harry Grant, was sent in the 37th minute for a controversial professional foul. Carrigan was sent off for 10 minutes over a hip drop tackle on Nelson Asofa-Solomona, while Flegler was penalised after some late game argy-bargy with the Storm's Aaron Pene, with both players told to take 10 minutes to calm down.

After the game, there was no doubt that Walters believed the officiating had affected the game. He said that 'we didn't see a game of football'.

“I’m pretty frustrated,” Walters said. “We came here to play football, that’s what we’ve been doing all year. I just don’t feel that we got a game of football.

“I’ll take the loss, we’ve lost before. But this is two good teams going at it and it just didn’t become a game of football.

“I guess that we were behind on the scoreboard — that frustrated me more than anything. But Thursday night, prime-time and we didn’t see a good game of football.”

Without pinning the blame on the officiating, Walters nevertheless felt the Broncos had been hard done by in what was ultimately a close contest at AAMI Park. He refused to be drawn on whether the NRL bunker or referee Todd Smith had held undue influence over the game.

“I’m not sure how it happened,” he said. “We had three guys sin binned. It’s hard to win when that happens.

“Were they fair sin bins? I’m not going to comment on that because my contract’s not big enough to pay the fine.”

Pat Carrigan sweating over Origin I after hip-drop sin-bin

Carrigan could be in trouble for State of Origin I should the NRL judiciary take a dim view of his tackle on Asofa-Solomona. However both Walters and Storm counterpart Craig Bellamy said he had been stiff to earn a trip to the sin-bin as a result.

Walters argued Carrigan had only 'slipped down (Asofa-Solomona's) legs', while Bellamy also had some sympathy for the Broncos star. He said it was the kind of call he wouldn't want to see in a grand final.

Pat Carrigan is sent to the sin-bin by NRL referee Todd Smith, as Thomas Flegler looks on.
The Brisbane Broncos had three players sent to the sin-bin during their 24-16 loss to the Melbourne Storm. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

“I think we’re very inconsistent with it,” Bellamy said. “I think Patrick tonight was very unlucky to go to the sin bin.

"I’m thinking along the lines of Kevvie’s thinking there. I thought it was a really tough decision to send him to the sin bin but that was sort of the way the game went tonight.”

Meanwhile, Brisbane captain Adam Reynolds has been cleared of serious injury after he was stretchered from AAMI Park in a neck brace in the first half. The veteran halfback remained motionless on the ground over the deadball line after diving in an unsuccessful attempt to ground a loose ball for a try.

Reynolds appeared to hit his head as he dived, with Storm hooker Harry Grant immediately signalling to medical staff for assistance. He was able to wriggle his fingers as he was taken in a medi-cab from the field.

Television commentary said that doctors had cleared Reynolds of serious injury. "He felt nerves in his neck twinge but he's been cleared of a serious neck injury," Fox Sports reported from the sideline.

Reynolds was, however, ruled out of the match. The NRL bunker awarded a penalty try to the Broncos, ruling that Grant had pushed Farnsworth in the back when the Broncos centre was racing to the ball.

With AAP

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