Penrith will be sweating on scans for key duo Matt Moylan and Jamie Soward after both were injured in Friday night’s 26-20 NRL defeat by Parramatta.
Moylan left the ground on crutches and with his right ankle in a moon boot after suffering a suspected ruptured ankle early in the match, while Soward was felled in a late shot from Eels forward Pauli Pauli that commentator Andrew Johns labelled a “cheap shot”.
Soward came from the field at a critical junction in the match and while he later returned with the aid of a painkilling injection, was unable to help the team reel in an Eels outfit desperate to end their five-game losing streak.
The incident will again spark debate on what constitutes a sin-binning offence, with Soward furious over the hit.
“Of course (I am),” he said.
“We’re at a stage at the moment where you can’t get put in the bin, you can’t get sent off, so what are we looking for?
“(Peter Wallace) came up and asked the ref for ten in the bin, and nothing.
“I’m not rapping myself up, but we lose a key playmaker for ten minutes – and injured – and it just gets put on report.”
Soward admitted it was a growing trend in the game this year and that it was an issue that needed to be looked at by the governing body.
“I don’t want to seem like a sook, (but) I know it happens,” he said.
“(Johnathan Thurston and) the top ball players have been getting it for years because they take the ball right into the line.
“I know that I’m walking out in a sling and he’s on report.
“If I miss 3-4 weeks, then we didn’t get any advantage out of it at all.”
“It’s the first time it’s happened to me, but I know that for the last two years I’ve watched my halves partner get hit in every late tackle and we haven’t got a call.”
Wallace echoed Soward’s comments, asking why the offending team wasn’t punished after a player from the opposition was injured because of foul play.
“I got an issue that we lost a player and nothing happened to them,” Wallace said.
“He got put on report but we lost a pretty important player for 10 minutes to an illegal tackle so I don’t know what you can do.
“I just wanted to make sure (the referees) saw it. I just asked the question. We had to lose someone, it’d be only fair if they do as well.”
Coach Ivan Cleary said it was up to the NRL to take a stance on playmakers being hit late after passing the ball.
“It’s a bit of a mismatch, especially when the guy’s looking the other way,” he said.
“It’s up to the NRL to come up with what they think is the right idea.”