Canterbury have been warned by the NRL over the inappropriate behaviour of Josh Reynolds, after the Bulldogs five-eighth had avoided censure from the match review committee for grabbing Canberra halfback Aidan Sezer’s buttocks.
During the Raiders’ round-five win over the Bulldogs at Belmore Sportsground on Monday night, Reynolds reached between the legs of Sezer as he attempted to feed a scrum.
The incident was highlighted in post-match TV cover, with some comparing it to John Hopoate’s infamous foul-play finger incident of 2001.
But the NRL didn’t see the funny side, contacting the Bulldogs on Tuesday to let it be known it wasn’t happy with Reynolds’ antics.
Reynolds appeared to understand that too when he took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to play down the moment.
“Just want to clear up the incident with Aiden (sic) Sezer last night,” he tweeted.
“We’re good mates and it was just a bit of a joke. I hope no harm done.”
The 26-year-old’s tweet only seemed to fire up more critics who saw it as a poor example, leading to Sezer jumping to his defence on his own instagram account.
“Just to reinforce what @joshreynolds9 has already said, Me and Joshy go back a long way and we were just having a laugh at the scrumbase,” Sezer posted.
“We are good mates and there was nothing in it.. Everyone just sit back and relax.”
Reynolds and Sezer played together in the under-20s and lower grades at the Bulldogs in 2010 and 2011, before Sezer eventually moved to the Gold Coast.
The incident has also largely been laughed off by the NRL community, including South Sydney’s Tom Burgess.
“It’s all part of the game,” Burgess said. “It’s a bit of a joke.
“He just got caught out, didn’t he? – just don’t get caught.”
Raiders captain Jarrod Croker also hinted the club weren’t concerned about the bizarre first-half moment, and said he wasn’t aware of it until the end of the match.
“I don’t know what’s going on there,” Croker told Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast.
“Whether they played a bit too much junior footy together and they missed each other or what the go was, but that was a bit of a laugh as well.”