Clint Gutherson wink exposes 'concerning' NRL problem

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·2-min read
Clint Gutherson (pictured) stays on the ground after an apparent injury.
Clint Gutherson (pictured) appeared to wink towards a teammate during a break in the clash against the Storm, which Phil Rothfield claimed was a tactic of time-wasting. (Image: Fox Sports)

Eels star Clint Gutherson has appeared to expose an ugly issue in the NRL rules after a slight 'wink' during Round 2 of the NRL season.

Reporters Paul Kent and Buzz Rothfield appeared on Fox Sports NRL 360 and discussed the look of Gutherson's apparent injury during the match against the Storm.

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The Eels defeated the defending champions with an impressive display in wet conditions on Friday night.

But Gutherson created a stoppage when he stayed down after blind-sided contact.

This prompted the referee to stop the game and a trainer to check on him.

However, Kent and Rothfield accused the player of time-wasting after claiming he winked at a teammate during the incident.

The pair let rip at the NRL after players appeared to expose a loophole in a ruling in Round 2 of the competition.

“I am concerned this week about time-wasting in the NRL,” Rothfield told Fox Sports on Tuesday night.

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“Coaches have to find a way to beat fatigue. So in my view, players are going down. Referees are stopping games. Clint Gutherson did a big wink after this incident… (NRL football boss) Graeme Annesley said the game shouldn’t have been stopped.

"The Melbourne Storm blew up about it. There was talk that at half time the Storm said, ‘Well if you’re going to let Gutho do this, we’ll do it too’. And you know what? (Ryan) Papenhuyzen went down a couple of times.”

Kent calls for referees to stop time-wasting

Kent agreed and said there were other examples in Round 2.

He said referees need to get on with the game and get the defensive line into position to stop any time-wasting.

In December, the NRL announced a player would need to spend at least two minutes on the sideline if a trainer is forced to stop the game to check on a player.

However, there are accusations players are skirting this rule because they are convincing the referee to stop the game.

This means players don't require the two minutes on the sideline.

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