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.
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.”
A penalty try for Farnworth after interference from Grant. Meanwhile Adam Reynolds is coming from the ground on a stretcher.
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— Fox League (@FOXNRL) May 11, 2023
Kevvie Walters was not happy with the way that Broncos vs Storm game was officiated, particularly the three sin bins that were given out to his team.
This is what he had to say in the press-conference.#NRL #NRLStormBroncos pic.twitter.com/W2ktagZvMc
— ABC SPORT (@abcsport) May 11, 2023
When Kevin Walters bites at the refereeing, you know there’s a genuine problem 💡
— They gave me the Penske file 😉 (@Luke_Pownall) May 12, 2023
Unlucky to be sinbinned, momentum swung him around, hopefully he gets off!!
— hoppa🇳🇿🇼🇸 (@faalili90) May 11, 2023
You either have to penalise all of them or none of them. But we all know that won’t happen
— Matt🦋🔪 (@xoDemize) May 11, 2023
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.”
No hip drop "action".
The dude slips and the momentum of NAS swings Carrigan around.
I invite those that want to reply "rules are rules".
— Curtis Woodward (@woodward_curtis) May 11, 2023
To all the Broncos fans having a cry, Reece Walsh literally shoulder charged someone in the act of scoring a try only for the Broncos to get a ridiculous penalty try 2 minutes later.
Swings and roundabouts. #NRL #NRLStormBroncos
— Jake Carden (@JakeCarden13) May 12, 2023
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.
“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.
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