Canterbury coach Des Hasler has taken a veiled swipe at the NRL match review committee, suggesting they lacked common sense after David Klemmer was cleared of making contact with a referee.
The NSW and Bulldogs firebrand will be free to take on Parramatta on Friday night after being exonerated of a grade-one contrary conduct charge at the judiciary on Wednesday night.
But the Bulldogs are still bristling that Klemmer was even charged after Parramatta’s Corey Norman, Penrith’s Trent Merrin and Wests Tigers’ Mitchell Moses did not come under the scrutiny of the MRC for similar incidents over the first two rounds.
Muddying the waters even further, Brisbane’s James Roberts accepted an early guilty plea for a touching referee Matt Noyen in his side’s win over the Warriors last Friday.
Hasler was left to lament the apparent inconsistency and when asked if the the MRC needed to exercise common sense, he quipped: “It’s not very common sometimes but it’s one way of looking at it.”
Despite the new season being two rounds old, Klemmer has already appeared before the judiciary twice, missing the Bulldogs’ season opener after successfully seeking a downgrade for a torpedo tackle on Melbourne’s Kenny Bromwich in a pre-season trial.
He was also suspended last year for his Good Friday spray of referee Gerard Sutton, but Hasler hosed down suggestions the 22-year-old was a marked man with the whistleblowers.
He also backed calls for the introduction of a fine system for offences such as making contract with the referee however said he didn’t want to see new rules rushed through for fear of creating a whole new set of problems.
“They’ll probably do that (introduce a monetary penalty system) in due course,” Hasler said.
“At the moment, we have one judicial system running and you can’t introduce another one and have two. It will will take some work to get it right.”