Trent Robinson’s crusade to eradicate diving has earned the surprise support of one of the NRL’s most prolific penalty-milkers Michael Ennis.
Robinson has in recent weeks led a personal crusade against players staying down to draw a penalty from the video referee.
On Saturday he attacked St George Illawarra centre Euan Aitken for lying on the ground after being hit by Roosters forward Dylan Napa and challenged journalists to call out players guilty of staying down.
Parramatta legend and Channel 9 commentator Peter Sterling this week called on the NRL to strip the video referees’ power to rule on anything other than potential tries.
He said if the video referees did not have the ability to review possible foul play in tackles, players would have no reason to stage injuries.
Cronulla hooker Ennis, nicknamed `the Menace’, is known for his gamesmanship. Last year the Roosters accused Ennis of diving while playing for his former club Canterbury after he stayed down in a high tackle that earned his side a penalty goal.
Early in his career while playing for Brisbane he was famously caught by television cameras winking at a teammate after staying down in an effort to draw a penalty.
Ennis admitted to diving against Penrith on the weekend when he was brushed by Tyrone Peachey and admitted to diving in an effort to give his side an edge.
“You live in the moment of the game and week-to-week I find enormous challenges in my game, to distance myself from being so in-the-moment,” Ennis said on NRL360 on Fox Sports on Tuesday night.
“To be honest when I look back at that (incident with Peachey) it is nothing more than a brush but it is high contact. In a situation of the game at the time it may warrant a penalty that will get my side down field (when they were) eight points down with 10 to go.
He said reducing the powers of the video referee would curb the trend of players staying down.
“If we take the review system out of it, it will eliminate it,” Ennis said.