NRL launches investigation into Parramatta trainer's illegal act

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
The Parramatta trainer, pictured here during Nathan Cleary's conversion attempt.
The Parramatta trainer's actions are being investigated by the NRL. Image: Twitter

The NRL is reportedly investigating the actions of a Parramatta Eels trainer after he ran in front of the goal posts during a Nathan Cleary conversion attempt.

The Eels shocked the Panthers at Blue Bet Stadium on Friday night, ending Penrith's 21-match winning streak at home with a 22-20 victory.

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The match finished four tries apiece, but Cleary only kicked two conversions to Mitchell Moses' three.

However the Eels can count themselves lucky that Cleary wasn't given another attempt to convert their third try after Parramatta's blue shirt trainer ran right in front of the posts as the Penrith captain was kicking.

Fox Sports vision clearly shows the moment Steve Murphy ran away from the Eels huddle and straight in front of the posts during Cleary's conversion attempt.

The kick missed to the right, but had the referees noticed the actions of Murphy they could have given Cleary the kick again.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the NRL is now investigating the incident.

The NRL's operations manual states: “Trainers must not at any time enter the line of sight of a player when he is attempting a kick for goal, or do anything which may in any way unnecessarily interfere with or distract an opposition player whilst he is participating in the match or constitute some disadvantage to the opposing team.”

It's not the first time the actions of a trainer have caused controversy during a Penrith-Parramatta clash.

Panthers trainer Pete Green copped a two-match suspension last year after stopping play in Penrith's semi-final victory over Parramatta.

Green ran onto the field and asked the referee to stop play so he could treat an injured Mitch Kenny while the Eels were on the attack.

The NRL later found that Kenny's injury didn't require the game to be stopped. The Panthers won 8-6 to advance to the grand final.

The Panthers were also fined $25,000 and Green was banned from the side's grand final triumph over the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

The NRL also changed its rules for the 2022 season, with trainers no longer having the power to ask the referee to stop the game.

The Eels trainer, pictured here running in front of the posts while Nathan Cleary was kicking.
The Eels trainer ran in front of the posts while Nathan Cleary was kicking. Image: Fox Sports

Parramatta emerge as genuine premiership contenders

Trounced by North Queensland just six days earlier, Parramatta pulled off one of the greatest wins of Brad Arthur's tenure as coach on Friday night.

Arthur labelled it the proudest moment of his nine years at the club immediately afterwards, with the Eels down on troops but high on spirit.

More than anything, it showed that Parramatta are ready to ensure the 2022 premiership is no two-horse race between Penrith and Melbourne.

The Eels are the only side to beat the Storm in Melbourne and the Panthers in Penrith in the last two years.

Mitchell Moses, pictured here celebrating after Parramatta's win over Penrith.
Mitchell Moses celebrates after Parramatta's win over Penrith. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Those wins also mark Melbourne and Penrith's only losses this year, proving the Eels can mix it with the big guns after falling out of the finals in the second week for the past three years.

"Can is the word," Arthur said.

"We have to make sure we're doing that every week. It's only round nine, a tough opposition (in the Sydney Roosters awaits) next week.

"We're not an elite team at the moment. We have shown we can be.

"Because elite teams do it every week. We can't take it for granted. We can compete with the best of them, but we have to do it every week."

with AAP

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