Roosters enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was dramatically binned against Penrith on Saturday night for swearing at referee Gerard Sutton.
He was later handed a Grade 1 charge of contrary conduct and can receive a $1,800 fine with a guilty plea.
Fox League expert Michael Ennis explained the Roosters enforcer’s history with Sutton played a part in the sin binning, while also making an interesting point about an important upcoming fixture.
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“I think that Robbo wouldn’t condone the language that he used, but you can understand his frustration,” Ennis said.
“Jarrod certainly clipped him high there is no doubt about that. I don’t think it was ever going to be a sin bin, but the fact that Jared approached him in the manner that he did, Gerard Sutton wasn’t having any of that.
“I think that Jared feels like there is some history there. I think this was a bit of frustration that this has been a running battle for a while now with Gerard Suttton.
“Gerard checks everything leading into Origin because he wants an Origin gig and he will check everything, every try, every penalty.
“He doesn’t want to be the centre-piece of any controversy that could potentially have a grand final or Origin game taken away from him.”
Penrith were cruising to victory when Waerea-Hargreaves lost his cool at Sutton with 11 minutes left in the contest.
James Fisher-Harris was barging over for the Panthers’ fifth try when he copped a swinging arm to the cheek from Waerea-Hargreaves.
“You take every opportunity you get to put me on report, don’t you reckon,” Waerea-Hargreaves said to Sutton.
“I’m just saying. Every time bro, every f***ing time. It’s not fair mate, I’m telling you.”
At that point, Sutton had heard enough and binned him as Waerea-Hargreaves protested “no, no, no” before James Tedesco ushered his teammate away.
Waerea-Hargreaves began walking off while barking back his protest two more times at Sutton.
“Every f***ing time bro. Every time,” he said.
Sutton simply responded with “go” and Tedesco was forced to stop Waerea-Hargreaves walking back towards the referee.
“He’s not going to change his decision Jared, oh Jared be careful,” Andrew Voss said on Fox League as Waerea-Hargreaves went to walk back towards Sutton.
“If he goes on here he’ll be sent off altogether. I know he wears his heart on his sleeve and they’re short sleeves at that.”
The Panthers were given a second shot at goal due to the incident, which Nathan Cleary slotted as the final points of the match which they won 32-6.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson didn’t excuse the swearing but fiercely defended Waerea-Hargreaves’ overall point.
“You can’t speak that way. It wasn’t bad but he swore. He didn’t swear at him, he didn’t abuse him,” Robinson said.
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“He swore and if that’s unacceptable, I’m not sure but we haven’t seen too many of those. But if there’s a swear word used (and) they’re going off then that’s fine.
“(But) Jared is also right. Guys hit guys like that around the chops all the time. How many eight-point tries have we seen from guys diving in the corner and getting hit in the head, that just doesn’t happen.
“If that’s James Tedesco doing that tackle he’s not on report. That’s not a reportable high tackle.
“(But) you can’t speak like that.”
Robinson then doubled down and suggested Waerea-Hargreaves is being targeted by referees.
“If Jared does something like that, everyone’s ears prick up. We had a guy (Sitili Tupouniua) miss this week for getting concussed and it just wasn’t even really spoken about,” he said.
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“If Jared does that it’s a different story and I guess that’s what he felt and I think he expressed that clearly and in the wrong way, which got him 10 in the bin.
“I’d be interested to know how many little knees or high shots there have been and then there has been a penalty, it just doesn’t happen.
“But high shots do happen on the goal line.
“I think we’ve had a sin bin in every game in our last three games against Penrith so Jared is obviously frustrated by that and he made that clear and he shouldn’t have sworn to make that point and obviously the ref is sensitive about it as well so he sent him to the bin.”
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