Why Anthony Seibold should avoid a $10,000 fine over 'dangerous' NRL ruling

The Manly coach let rip in his post-match press conference, which could land him in hot water.

Anthony Seibold reacts and Daly Cherry-Evans sits during the interview.
Anthony Seibold (pictured left) and Daly Cherry-Evans (pictured right) were both left fuming over the Reuben Garrick incident in Manly's loss to the Warriors on Friday night. (Images: Fox Sports)

A strange and almost unprecedented phenomena swept across the Australian NRL landscape late Friday night. It was something we have rarely seen before and are unlikely to revisit again for some time. Yet, there it was in every corner of the social media world and in pubs and clubs around the country.

It was widespread sympathy for the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles following their controversial loss to the Warriors. Injury-hit Manly headed across the ditch as despised $4 outsiders, given no hope of stopping the runaway train that is the New Zealand Warriors.

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Better sides have made the journey and returned to Australia with tails not only between their legs but stuck where the sun don't shine. Not Manly.

They are unofficially New Zealand's second favourite club and played accordingly, scoring first and then fighting back from 10 points down to lead at halftime. They bravely went blow for blow with the Warriors and were in a position to win the game with six minutes to go when one of the most ridiculous decisions of the season was made.

Fullback Reuben Garrick was turned into a human Catherine wheel by his opposite number Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad as they contested a bouncing ball. It was one of those moments when you truly fear for a player's safety and pray that he will be able to get up, let alone play on.

There is no doubt whatsoever that Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad only had eyes for the ball and had no intention of upending Garrick in such dramatic fashion.

But he did, and you could argue the contact contained huge flecks of recklessness and carelessness. It was dangerous play and a penalty every day of the week.

Manly coach Anthony Seibold reacts.
Manly coach Anthony Seibold (pictured) could be fined for his post-match rant at the NRL. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

And for those saying it’s not in the game's laws, they may want to take a closer look. The rule, stated in black and white on the NRL website, states: "Dangerous Contact is constituted by carelessly, recklessly or intentionally making dangerous contact with an opposing player. To be regarded as “dangerous" for the purposes of the offence, the conduct must have involved an unacceptable risk of injury to the opposing player, and players have a special duty to avoid such contact."

As Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans suggested: "If that's not a dangerous position, I don’t know what is."

If this was rugby union, CNZ would have been red carded instantly and left facing several weeks on the sideline. Not so in the mysterious and wonderful world of the NRL.

Not only did the Warriors No.1 stay on the field, there was no penalty for Manly because it was ruled a contest from a bouncing ball (via a charge-down) and Garrick, miraculously, landed on his back and not his neck. Instead of kicking for goal to take a two-point lead, the Sea Eagles handed over possession and the Warriors marched down field to snatch victory.

The sad sight of a clearly hobbled Garrick valiantly trying to prevent the match-winning try illustrated the pain and discomfort he was in.

Anthony Seibold unleashes in fiery press conference

No wonder Manly coach Anthony Seibold went nuclear in the post-match press conference. He'd just seen his team's finals chances evaporate after being dudded by match officials two weeks running.

He'll be fined 10k for his rant but shouldn’t be.

Jake Trbojevic reacts with his teammates.
Jake Trbojevic (pictured) and Manly were all but eliminated from finals contention after the loss to the Warriors. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

This is a coach who is normally very considered and restrained in what he says and is the first to concede when his team hasn’t played well enough to win. He's not a Ricky Stuart throw-the-toys-from-the-cot type or rude, abrasive and surly like Wayne Bennett.

Seibold spoke from the heart with genuine concern for the welfare of his injured player and the crushing impact the decision had on his team. And he's right.

Rugby league is quick to penalise for the slightest contact to the head but let something as outrageous as this slide by. So today, like many others, we #SeethewithSeibs.

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