Send-offs leave players guessing: Anasta - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Send-offs leave players guessing: Anasta

By Steve Jancetic 31/08/2010 06:00:11 PM Comments (0)

The heat is on NRL referees just a week out from the finals with Sydney Roosters skipper Braith Anasta admitting players no longer have any idea what constitutes a send off.

Anasta called on the NRL to issue an edict regarding the extreme measure after claiming Penrith captain Petero Civonivceva had become the "fall guy" when given his marching orders on Monday night.

Claims the send off rule was dead were raised after two ugly incidents in the Manly-Roosters game on Sunday - including one which earned Glenn Stewart a four-match ban for a hit on Anasta.

While refusing to say Stewart should have been marched for the elbow which collected him flush on the jaw, Anasta said players were on tenterhooks heading into the biggest games of the year.

"The last few days is a really good indication of that," Anasta said of the confusion surrounding the send off rule.

"We haven't seen anyone sent off until Petero last night.

"I think that was an indication as to what it would take to (get sent off), no-one really knew what it would take to get sent off and there seemed to be a bit of conjecture about it and poor Petero got sent off last night, he was just like the fall guy.

"It's interesting (to see) how the referees will react to the send off last night, whether they're going to start (doing it more), if that's the benchmark or if they might back off.

"I don't know, there's a bit of confusion there now."

Asked what could be done to ease players' apprehension, Anasta called on the NRL to act.

"I think there's got to be something in place where it's a bit more black and white ... it's always going to be hard, it's up to the discretion of the referees.

"I think if there's an indication there then we can go into a game more clear-minded and with a good understanding of what is expected or what's not expected from us."

But it's not just the men in the middle under fire, with Sean Hampstead on Tuesday becoming the second video referee in as many weeks to be stood down for making an incorrect call.

Referees boss Robert Finch admitted Hampstead blundered in awarding a crucial eight-point try to Roosters centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall in Manly's 30-14 loss to the tri-colours, just two weeks after he was forced to apologise for a gaffe from veteran official Bill Harrigan in the Sea Eagles' round 23 defeat to St George Illawarra.

However Manly coach Des Hasler said the time for apologies was over, with the Sea Eagles now walking the finals tightrope, needing to win Sunday's last round match against Canterbury to ensure a finals berth.

"They probably need to tell the players ... come out and tell the players why they got it wrong, come out and tell the fans why they got it wrong," Hasler said.

"(Admitting mistakes) doesn't help us, doesn't help our cause. It's the same old thing.

"The whole refereeing scenario needs upturning. It's a cultural thing which needs to be looked at.

"At the moment the referees just aren't viewed like other referees from other codes - they aren't viewed the way that they should be.

"That's obviously an area for (NRL boss) David Gallop and his entourage to look at."

Asked whether he had lost confidence in referees, Sea Eagles skipper Jamie Lyon said:

"Yeah, sometimes. I think so.

"It is a bit of a worry, especially in a tight semi-final where it is do or die.

"We've had a couple of rough calls the past few weeks and I suppose we've got to get used to it ... it seems to be a bit of a trend."

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