NRL fans left fuming over 'disgusting' Jared Waerea-Hargreaves act

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, pictured here driving his elbow into the face of Zac Fulton.
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves drove his elbow into the face of Zac Fulton. Image: Fox Sports/Getty

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has come under fire after an ugly incident with Manly debutant Zac Fulton in the Roosters' 20-10 win on Thursday night.

Waerea-Hargreaves was penalised while in possession of the ball after driving his elbow into the head of Fulton while he was lying on the ground.

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The Roosters enforcer lashed out at his 20-year-old opponent after a previous tackle, striking the Manly rookie in the face with his hand.

Things then got ugly after the next tackle when Waerea-Hargreaves put his elbow firmly into Fulton's face and held it there as the youngster was lying on the ground.

The Kiwi forward was penalised by referee Grant Atkins, who said Waerea-Hargreaves' actions were 'unacceptable'.

“Regardless if he thinks he is all over him, Jared can’t do what he did, that is unacceptable, that is why it is against you,” Atkins told Roosters captain James Tedesco.

The Roosters prop was handed a grade-one dangerous contact charge on Friday morning, bringing with it a $3000 fine.

Fox League commentator Andrew Voss said the treatment of the debutant was part and parcel of the game in previous eras, but things have changed.

“That elbow, forearm with force into the face... ill-disciplined, but I will quantify this, those who have watched for a long time, that went on all the time when a bloke made his debut,” Voss said.

“The young kid had to earn his stripes, I know it is a different time, but there would be some dipping their lid to that.

“But you give away a penalty in 2022, we have moved on. Fulton didn’t complain, it was his badge of honour.”

Parramatta Eels champion Nathan Hindmarsh expressed similar sentiments.

“I was loving it, probably not necessary, but welcome to first grade, I don’t think it bothered Fulton too much,” he said on the Matty Johns show.

“He is going 'well I am in first grade now, I am going to cop a little bit of this'.

"Having the surname he does as well. But I didn’t mind it, I think it is a bit of initiation, we all copped it here and there.”

Fans were quick to call out Waerea-Hargreaves on social media, with some labelling his actions 'dirty' and 'disgusting'.

Depleted Manly side go down to Roosters

Manly's makeshift side kept their pride but points proved their biggest issue as they were outgunned by the Roosters.

After the most dramatic and controversial lead up to a game this season, Manly managed to stay in the game despite seven of their players boycotting their rainbow pride jersey.

For all the expectations of a Roosters flogging, Trent Robinson's men were outscored 4-2 in the second half against the depleted Sea Eagles.

Still they did what they needed to do by controlling the match and going clear into the top eight, with their biggest concern being a second concussion in 15 days for Lindsay Collins.

Lindsay Collins, pictured here being tackled by Daly Cherry-Evans during the Roosters' clash with Manly.
Lindsay Collins is tackled by Daly Cherry-Evans during the Roosters' clash with Manly. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

And they did it all against a Manly team playing on the emotion of the most draining weeks possible, in front of a crowd sporting rainbows.

"I haven't come off after a loss and been so quick to smile," captain Daly Cherry-Evans said.

"Because when you sit back and think about what's happened this week, all we ever asked was for people to give their effort.

"And against a really good side tonight, we did that.

"The main objective tonight was to do the club and fans proud, so I hope we did that."

with AAP

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