James Tedesco under fire over ugly moment with referee in Roosters victory

The Sydney Roosters captain had a running battle with referee Ashley Klein during their won over Manly.

James Tedesco and referee Ashley Klein.
James Tedesco's treatment of referee Ashley Klein has been called out. Image: Getty/Fox League

James Tedesco has drawn the ire of NRL fans after a running battle with referee Ashley Klein on Thursday night. Klein's performance came under heavy scrutiny after he blew 21 penalties and gave 13 set restarts in the Roosters' 26-16 win over Manly at the SCG.

Roosters captain Tedesco took exception to a number of calls Klein made and could be seen in the referee's ear all night. Tedesco was particularly incensed when Nathan Brown was sent off late in the match for a high tackle and could be heard swearing.

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"What?! Send-off?!" Tedesco said to Klein in disbelief. "Sir, that's not a send-off. F***ing hell."

Infuriated fans took to social media to complain about Tedesco's treatment of the referee, despite Klein's performance copping heavy criticism as well. "Tedesco is insufferable as a captain. Has he ever, in history, ever accepted any decision against his team? Ever not had a whinge to the ref?" one fan wrote.

Others pointed out that Reece Walsh was hit with a three-game suspension for calling a referee a "c***", although Tedesco's actions seem relatively minor in comparison. One fan commented: "Tedesco caught on ref mic swearing at the ref. What will the penalty be for that by the MRC? Walsh got weeks for the ref's believing he swore at them not his teammate. This was directly at the ref."

Trent Robinson fumes over Nathan Brown send-off decision

After the game, Roosters coach Trent Robinson said he disagreed that Brown deserved a straight send-off. “We’ve had high tackles, we’ve had shoulder charges, we’ve had all of that. That was a high tackle that hit him in the neck that had no effect on him (Ben Trbojevic),” Robinson said.

“(Trbojevic) got up and elbowed pretty quickly straight after, that wasn’t sighted and went unpunished. You don’t want to see it, I don’t think it’s great for Ben but I mean there’s so much worse than that that has happened, and that gets sent off?

“If the goalposts have moved tonight then move them and then send him off, but if you can’t mention when the last send off was...Guys have been heavily concussed from high tackles and all of that. Nothing happened there tonight and he gets sent from the field.”

Robinson said he would have been fine with a sin-bin only. “If you can let me know of guys that have been hit high and concussed and all of those things and not been sent from the field, which I can give you many, then what made that stand out," he added.

“If we had two more people on the field that would have been sent off in the other code (rugby union) for many weeks in a row. But in our game, that’s not how it’s adjudicated. I imagine they’ll say it’s a send-off but I could give you much worse tackles than that that haven’t been sent from the field. He hit him high and in the neck.”

Ashley Klein, pictured here talking to James Tedesco.
Ashley Klein talks to James Tedesco during the Roosters' clash with Manly. (AAP Image/Mark Evans)

Anthony Seibold also takes aim at Ashley Klein

Manly coach Anthony Seibold said he was comfortable with the send-off decision. “Yeah I thought it was foul play so I was comfortable with a send off,” he said. “It wasn’t deliberate I wouldn’t have thought, so anyway just by looking at it. I understood why he got sent off.”

However Seibold wasn't impressed that Toafofoa Sipley had been sin-binned earlier in the game. Sipley got his marching orders for repeated infringements on Manly's behalf, yet the Roosters lost the penalty count 15-6 and didn't have anyone binned.

“The thing that was quite strange, I know Nathan Brown got sent off but that was for foul play, but our sixth penalty of the night Toff Sipley - a yardage penalty for staying in the tackle too long - gets sin binned. I didn’t quite understand that," he said.

“I understand the frustration with the amount but at that stage, the Roosters had given 10 away and we had given five away so I wasn’t quite sure where that came from. It was a really stop-start game. Both sides conceded a lot of penalties, a lot of six agains. It certainly hurt the rhythm of how we wanted to play our footy but they came with a good plan so credit to them.”

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