NRL savaged over Warriors 'disgrace' amid development around Bulldogs star Jaeman Salmon

Salmon was at the centre of one of the game's biggest talking points.

Angry fans have taken aim at the officiating in the NRL after Bulldogs star Jaeman Salmon was slapped with a two-game ban over an incident that wasn't even blown up for a penalty against the Warriors on Saturday. The Bulldogs kept their impressive season going with a gutsy 13-12 golden point win after Matt Burton kicked a game-winning field goal for the second week in a row to stamp his claims for a Blues Origin recall and cement fifth spot on the ladder for his Canterbury side.

The result could have been very different though if referee Chris Butler or bunker official Adam Gee awarded the Warriors a late penalty when Salmon collected playmaker Te Maire Martin late and high. The scores were locked at 12-all with just over five minutes remaining when Salmon charged at Martin thinking the Warriors were setting up for a drop-goal.

Matt Burton kicked the Bulldogs to victory over the Warriors in golden point after Jaemon Salmon somehow escaped punishment for a high shot on Te Maire Martin. Pic: Getty/Fox League
Matt Burton kicked the Bulldogs to victory over the Warriors in golden point after Jaemon Salmon somehow escaped punishment for a high shot on Te Maire Martin. Pic: Getty/Fox League

Martin passed the ball before Salmon got to him but the Bulldogs back-rower followed through with his hit and ended up clashing heads with the Warriors halfback. Both players lay on the ground in pain, with Salmon suffering a suspected broken jaw as a result of the sickening incident.

Warriors players were incensed they weren't awarded a penalty that would have given them a kick from right in front to go ahead. And their anger will only intensify after the match review committee charged Salmon with grade-two dangerous contact on Sunday, meaning he'll cop a two-game ban with an early guilty plea.

Brisbane Broncos legend Corey Parker and Fox League commentator Andrew Voss echoed the frustrations of viewers after questioning why Salmon wasn't penalised at the time. Angry fans described the NRL officiating as a "disgrace" and said the game had failed in its duty of care for Martin, despite officials constantly talking about the need to stamp out dangerous acts and protect the safety and welfare of players.


“I’m worried about both players here," Voss started off by saying before Parker admitted that Salmon would likely be penalised. But the Broncos great was incredulous when the bunker cleared the contact and decided it didn't warrant a penalty. “I don’t understand how that’s clear,” Parker said. "Both players are grabbing their face. How is that clear? How is that clear?”

The incident brought back memories of a similar head clash involving Penrith's Taylan May and Brisbane fullback Reece Walsh earlier in the year. May was penalised for initiating the contact on Walsh that left the Broncos star with a fractured cheekbone. Surprisingly, the Panthers player was not banned as a result of the incident, despite the NRL later admitting that he should have been.

Warriors coach Andrew Webster claimed not to have seen Salmon's shot when quizzed about the controversy by reporters after the game. But he - like many fans - will be curious to hear what the NRL's head of football Graham Annesley says about it in his weekly briefing on Monday and what repercussions there might be for referee Butler or bunker official Gee.

Pictured here, Canterbury Bulldogs forward Jaemon Salmon in the NRL.
Bulldogs forward Jaemon Salmon copped a two-game ban after being charged with grade-two dangerous contact. Pic: Getty

Salmon would miss three games if he unsuccessfully challenges his charge at the NRL judiciary - an unlikely scenario considering he's sidelined with injury anyway. "It looks like a broken jaw, which is not ideal for him," Bulldogs coach Cameron Ciraldo said about Salmon. "We know he'll work hard to get himself back." Jacob Preston appears the man most likely to replace Salmon on the right edge after the Bulldogs' round 19 bye.

with AAP