Roosters coach rages at inflaming ‘suggestion’

As Roosters coach Trent Robinson addressed the media after his side was ousted from the premiership race by the Rabbitohs on Sunday afternoon, he bristled at a reporter’s “suggestion”.

After a clash in which seven sin-bins were dealt out, five head injury assessments took place and 15 penalties were awarded, a journalist quizzed Robinson on players staying down after possible acts of foul play.

“The more players who were penalized or binned, the more players became aware if they stayed down or if the game stopped there would be an opportunity there for penalties,” the reporter said in the Roosters’ post-match press conference.

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“Do you see it as a problem today and do you see it as a problem for the rest of the finals?”

Robinson clasped his hands and sat up a little taller as he prepared to hit back.

“Are you saying on the Roosters side that —,” Robinson said.

“No, just in general in the game,” the reporter replied.

“Are you saying that the Roosters lied down there?” Robinson clarified.

“No, I’m just saying the game in general,” the reporter added.

“A lot of those sin-binnings were referees getting instruction from the Bunker. They weren’t actually called in the play.”

“Yeah, sure, but I’m asking you: are you saying that the Roosters lied down for penalties in that game?” Robinson said.

“No, just in general,” the reporter confirmed.

“I can’t obviously remember all of them because there were that many, but it felt as though it went upstairs a lot.”

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Robinson defended his side’s integrity.

“I’ll just say that we didn’t lie down for any penalties,” the Tricolors mentor said.

“I take umbrage to the suggestion that we lied down for penalties, because we didn’t.”

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“In the game, though, with Souths?” the journalist produced.

“I don’t have an opinion on theirs,” Robinson replied.

“I have an opinion on us and that we won’t do it. It’s not going to happen.

“You can feel I’m passionate about that and that (I believe) that won’t happen.

“I’ll ask you to have a look, and (I) say (to you), ‘Where did we do that?’.

“Just don’t say in general, because that didn’t happen from our end.”

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Seven sin-bins is a new competition record.

Victor Radley was sin-binned for punching and again for racing in to join a scuffle, Taane Milne was sin-binned twice for high tackles, Tom Burgess was given his marching orders for a high shot, Tevita Tatola was sin-binned for a head push and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves copped the same consequence for dangerous contact in a tackle.

Darren Lockyer and Brad Fittler were critical of what they deemed an overuse of the sin bin.

“I think this should be refereed a bit like an Origin. (Give the players) a bit of leeway,” Lockyer said on Nine’s coverage.

“It was quite obvious early on how this game was going to be played and the referees needed to have a cool head about it,” Fittler added.

There was a bizarre moment two minutes into the contest when Latrell Mitchell retrieved a kick at fullback and, rugby union-style, immediately rifled it back down the field.

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“What happened there?” Andrew Johns said.

“I haven’t seen that for 30 years.”

But the baffling move was quickly engulfed by the madness that followed.

Three of the six sin-bins were enforced in the opening 20 minutes, and the drama-charged action didn’t cease until the full-time whistle was blown, giving a crowd of a tick under 40,000 at Sydney Football Stadium a Sunday afternoon to savor.

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