Gorden Tallis blows up on air over Nicho Hynes touch judge incident

The NRL legend was left fuming after suggesting the Nicho Hynes incident exposed a worrying double standard.

Pictured right to left, Gorden Tallis and Nicho Hynes.
Gorden Tallis accused Nicho Hynes of abusing an NRL official despite the Sharks star being cleared. Pic: Getty/Fox League

Gorden Tallis has been left fuming after Nicho Hynes escaped sanction over an incident with a tough judge in Cronulla's loss to Manly in the NRL on Sunday. Hynes earned a stern talking to from referee Peter Gough after angrily gesturing towards touch judge Belinda Sharpe over a controversial late forward pass call in his side's 26-30 defeat to the Sea Eagles.

Hynes was clearly not happy with the touchie's call and threw up three fingers to suggest it wasn't the first bad call he thought went against the Sharks. However, the NRL's match review committee interviewed Sharpe and analysed audio from the game before deciding not to charge Hynes over the incident.

GOOD, BAD AND UGLY: Nicho Hynes ‘rattled’ as Knights problem exposed

'WITHOUT A DOUBT': Ryan Papenhuyzen in huge injury development

TOO GOOD: James Tedesco silences critics in staggering display

That didn't stop Tallis from firing up over what he described as double standards from the NRL, with the Brisbane legend likening the Hynes incident to one that saw Broncos fullback Reece Walsh banned for three games earlier in the season. Walsh was caught on audio yelling: “What the f*** do you mean, c***”, and despite insisting it was directed at teammate Patrick Carrigan, the NRL judiciary ultimately disagreed and slapped him with a three-game ban for contrary conduct after a marathon four-hour hearing.

Reece Walsh was handed a three-week ban for a foul-mouthed spray in the Broncos' game against the Titans. (Images: Fox Sports/AAP)
Reece Walsh was handed a three-week ban for a foul-mouthed spray in the Broncos' game against the Titans. (Images: Fox Sports/AAP)

In a heated on-air debate on NRL 360 on Monday night, league reporter Phil Rothfield said the big difference between the two cases was the fact Hynes wasn't guilty of abusing an official or using foul language. “I think the NRL have handled it, they’ve gone through the audio. I don’t think it was anything particularly nasty,” Rothfield said.

It sparked a fiery response from Tallis, who interjected by saying: “Hold on, you must be colour blind. So Reece Walsh gets suspended and everybody was up in arms. No, no, no, hold on. It took four hours for people to figure out whether Walsh said it to Pat Carrigan or the ref. You know exactly who he’s talking to here."

Rothfield hit back by suggesting Walsh's foul-mouthed spray was much worse than the Hynes incident. “It was established by the judiciary," he argued. Gordie I can’t believe you are having this argument, you know what Reece Walsh said. The judiciary found him guilty.... he was proven wrong.

“The judiciary took four hours and gave him every hope and found him guilty of saying disgusting language to a referee. He (Walsh) got three weeks and deserved it. Nicho Hynes said nothing, no swear words, worked up in the emotions said that’s the third time it has happened.”

Gorden Tallis bullish over Nicho Hynes incident

Tallis wasn't having a bar of it though and said regardless of the language used, he claimed the Hynes incident still amounted to "abusing an official". “If I argue with an official and then I swear and they don’t know who I swore at, but then if I’m looking at a touchie and I direct it at them, how is it different? Tallis asked.

“I see it the same, if I’m abusing a touch judge I see it exactly the same. If I’m mouthing off at someone, it’s OK for all the kids to see it. That’s exactly what you are saying. What I’m worried about is being consistent when one bloke gets three weeks and there were a lot of scrutiny and one bloke, because he’s a nice guy, and I like Nicho.”

Tallis' claim that Hynes "abused" Sharpe was at odds with the testimony from the touch judge and the match review committee findings. NRL football boss Graham Annesley explained on Monday that they were satisfied the Sharks halfback's actions weren't abusive towards the official.

"There was no evidence of anything untoward on the audio," Annesley said. "Belinda Sharpe, in this occasion, did not feel that Nicho Hynes was in any way abusive or derogatory to her personally.

"Yes, he didn't like decision but that probably happens dozens of times across the course of a weekend. We don't have a problem with players being upset about decisions. We only have a problem when that then manifests itself in some kind of personal abuse or attack on the match officials."

with AAP

Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.