'Nothing wrong with that': Refs clear 'graphic' hit on Kalyn Ponga

Ben Cummins and the Bunker have shocked the NRL after clearing Roosters star Jared Waerea-Hargreaves for a hit that forced Newcastle's Kalyn Ponga out of the game.

Ponga was collected hard by Waerea-Hargreaves after a kick, with the big forward landing on top of his young rival to spark a response from the Knights.

As a scuffle took place Ponga was spotted spitting blood, and he was taken from the field.

But the officials took no action against the Roosters, who had the ball after play resumed.

"We don't have a problem with the tackle," Cummins told the two captains.

"It's clear it's just contact on the ground. but what I won't have is players coming in and starting a scuffle.

"If that happens again, someone will sit down ... there's nothing wrong with that (tackle)."

The Newcastle crowd's 'off! off!' cheers were to no avail, and Andrew Voss was left dumbfounded in commentary.

"That's pretty graphic," he said after watching a replay, describing the referee's decision as "unbelievable" and "extraordinary".

Brett Finch and Steve Roach could not believe the Roosters benefitted from Waerea-Hargreaves' hit by retaining the ball.

"What about the fact he wasn't square at marker either?" Finch said.

"How's that not a penalty? He's put his shoulders through his head.

"I think Ben Cummins might be concussed, he might need the HIA."

Ponga had starred for the Knights before being taken from the field as the home side built a 30-6 lead.

Kalyn Ponga was flattened by Jared Waerea-Hargreaves. Pic: Channel Nine

He scored once, put on a try assist and converted seven goals.

On Channel Nine, Phil Gould said Waerea-Hargreaves was lucky to continue on the field himself.

“In another era, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves would be leaving in an ambulance,” Gould said.

“If you did that to another young player in Newcastle you wouldn’t get away with it.”

Newcastle went on to win 38-12 as Mitchell Pearce celebrated a stirring victory over his former side.