Brad Fittler and Darren Lockyer have taken aim at the NRL as St George Illawarra enforcer Tyson Frizell faces a one-match ban for touching a referee.
Frizell looks set to miss Thursday night’s match against Brisbane after being cited for making contact with referee Chris James in his side’s 13-10 loss to Canterbury.
Sydney Roosters, NSW and Australian legend Fittler accused the match review committee of being out of touch after Bulldogs five-eighth Josh Reynolds escaped suspension for a trip on Joel Thompson in the same game.
“We’re losing fans, we’ve got to change the rule book or change the people making those decisions,” Fittler told the Nine Network’s Sunday Footy Show.
“We’re losing fans, they’re disengaging with the game.
“They’ve lost touch with the rules.”
Frizell was hit with a grade-one contrary-conduct charge, which carries a base penalty of 125 points.
He was also hit with 20 per cent loading for a non-similar prior offence.
He faces a week out even with an early guilty plea and will have to take his fight to the judiciary to face the Broncos.
Meanwhile Reynolds is free to play against Newcastle on Saturday night despite being charged for tripping for the fourth time in his career.
He incurred a 50 per cent loading for a similar prior offence – stemming from his trip on Ben Barba in round 22, 2014.
Lockyer said he couldn’t work out how Reynolds was free to play but Frizell was facing a week off.
“When you compare it to the trip, it just doesn’t make sense,” Lockyer said.
“(Tripping) is not in the spirit of the game.
“We’re suspending people who touch referees, that’s not in the spirit of the game.
“If he’s a repeat offender, the message obviously isn’t hitting home.”