Dylan Napa’s hit on Taane Milne was bad enough to be reported, but not so forceful or careless to warrant an official charge from the match review committee, according to NRL officials.
In views likely to further infuriate Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson, referees boss Tony Archer and match review committee (MRC) head Michael Buettner have both suggested due process has been followed within their area of responsibility.
Robinson criticised the video officials on Monday for playing the role of the MRC when they over-ruled the on-field referee to place Napa on report.
Archer addressed those criticisms, telling NRL.com that review officials Jared Maxwell and Bryan Norrie were right to prompt on-field referee Ben Cummins to blow the vital penalty.
“For the bunker to be involved in any foul play incident, it needs to be reportable,” he said.
“You can see that there is contact on the head by Napa, it’s a reportable offence and is correctly dealt with by the officials in awarding a penalty to St George.”
Despite this, Napa escaped charge for the incident after the MRC found the knockout blow to Milne was in fact delivered by Boyd Cordner’s head.
“We deemed it not forceful enough or careless in terms of his (Napa’s) actions to warrant a charge,” Buettner said.
“You can see the head contact between Cordner and (Milne), which we deemed to be the reason why both players went off for the concussion test.”
Archer also said he was comfortable with the communication between Cummins and Roosters captain Jake Friend, something Robinson was again critical of following the Roosters’ 20-18 loss to St George Illawarra.
“It’s not for the captain and referee to have a debate – it’s for the referee to explain the decision,” Archer said.
Robinson has been fined $40,000 for his post-match comments and confronting the referees.
Meanwhile, Archer also said he didn’t believe Blake Ayshford should have been sin-binned for a professional foul in the Warriors’ match on Monday night against Melbourne.
“He was still in his own half, so I thought he should have been penalised for slowing the ruck but not sin-binned,” Archer said.
The Storm scored two tries in the period while he was off the field.