Brad Fittler seethes over 'ridiculous' aftermath to State of Origin

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NSW coach Brad Fittler says Tino Fa'asuamaleaui should not have been fined less than Matt Burton for his role in the Origin Game III melee. Pic: Getty/CH9
NSW coach Brad Fittler says Tino Fa'asuamaleaui should not have been fined less than Matt Burton for his role in the Origin Game III melee. Pic: Getty/CH9

NSW coach Brad Fittler has taken an angry swipe at the NRL's match review committee, in response to one of the biggest controversies in the State of Origin decider.

The Blues mentor is still seething over the aftermath of a huge flash point in the Maroons' series-clinching victory in Game III at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.

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Early in the first half of Queensland's win, Maroons centre Dane Gagai knocked NSW centre Matt Burton to the ground in back play, sparking a wild punch-up between the two.

Maroons forward Tino Fa'asuamaleaui intervened and had Burton in a headlock when more players joined the fracas.

Referee Ashley Klein sin-binned Burton and Gagai, but Fa'asuamaleaui was permitted to stay on the field.

The day after the game, Burton and Gagai were each fined 23 per cent of their match fee, following changes to the NRL's judiciary code this season aimed at minimising suspensions out of representative games.

However, Fa'asuamaleaui - who was also put on report for a high shot earlier in the match - only copped a fine that equated to seven percent of his match fee.

Brad Fittler labels Tino Fa'asuamaleaui fine 'ridiculous'

Speaking about it on Nine's Sunday Footy Show, Fittler said the match review committee's response to the controversy was "ridiculous" - particularly with regards to Fa'asuamaleaui's involvement.

"The problem I had with it was (NRL Head of Football) Graham Annesley had come out during the week and spoke how the third man in should be sin-binned," Fittler told Nine's Sunday Footy Show.

"Tino was the third man in and he could have done other things other than put (Burton) in a pretty aggressive head lock, and the way that got treated.

"Matt Burton got fined more than Tino. I find that absolutely ridiculous."

NSW coach Brad Fittler says Maroons forward Tino Fa'asuamaleaui got off way too lightly for his part in the Origin III melee. Pic: Ch9
NSW coach Brad Fittler says Maroons forward Tino Fa'asuamaleaui got off way too lightly for his part in the Origin III melee. Pic: Ch9

Former Brisbane captain Darren Lockyer argued that by pulling Burton away from Gagai, Fa'asuamaleaui had prevented further punches from being thrown. But Fittler disagreed.

"Even if he does, he's still in a head lock and Dane Gagai still continues to melee with him and fight," Fittler said.

"At the end of it Matt Burton has come out of it pretty ordinary, and to be fined more ... I thought that was just hopeless."

The NRL has been contacted for comment.

with AAP

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