Sydney Roosters have been hit with a $40,000 fine over two incidents involving coach Trent Robinson in the aftermath of their controversial Anzac Day loss to St George Illawarra.
On Tuesday evening the NRL advised it had issued the Roosters with two breach notices each “proposing a fine of $20,000”.
In the first incident the NRL has alleged that Robinson “harassed” referee Ben Cummins in the Allianz Stadium tunnel post-match.
The other fine is in regard to scathing comments Robinson made about Cummins in the official press conference after the Roosters’ 20-18 loss on Monday.
NRL boss Todd Greenberg described the incidents as “an attack upon referees”.
The Roosters have seven days to respond to the notices before a final decision is handed down.
“We cannot stand by and allow any club to deliberately and blatantly attack our referees,” Greenberg said.
“Not only is it a breach of the rules which are there to protect our referees from abuse, but it sets a bad example to the rest of the game, particularly juniors.
“We know from experience that young people imitate their NRL heroes and attacking referees is simply not acceptable.
“We are also trying to encourage young people to become referees and public attacks like this do nothing to achieve that goal.”
Earlier on Tuesday ARL commission chairman John Grant accused the Sydney Roosters of running an orchestrated campaign to pressure the NRL and referee Cummins.
Grant was unimpressed with Robinson’s press conference comments that included accusations of Cummins being “disrespectful” to his players and the bunker making rugby league “soft”.
“It is very disappointing and obviously orchestrated, from a misplaced and spurious belief it was the referees’ fault,” Grant said.
“It is ridiculous. The referee didn’t lose the game, the Roosters lost the game.”
In regards to the alleged incident in the Allianz Stadium tunnel post game Grant said: “I hear there were words exchanged.”
The investigations come after Robinson expressed his discontent with Cummins in the post-match press conference.
“Ben has been horrible and disrespectful to our players for many years and it has continued,” Robinson said.
“He speaks poorly to our players. He won’t look them in the eye.”
Robinson then went to town on the use of video refs.
“The bunker has decided to be the on-field referee today, they jumped in at every occasion, they are not the match review committee,” he said.
“It was just soft on Anzac Day. We want to play a tough game and they were soft calls coming from the bunker, they were not good enough.
“I am not saying we would have won, I am saying we should have had a chance to win.”
Robinson was particularly incensed over a 50th-minute penalty for a Kane Evans late tackle – the resulting penalty goal the difference between the two sides – and Dylan Napa being put on report late for a tackle on Taane Milne.
Neither player was charged by the match review committee over their tackles.