ARL Commission chairman John Grant has accused the Sydney Roosters of running an orchestrated campaign to pressure the NRL and referee Ben Cummins in the wake of coach Trent Robinson’s controversial Anzac Day comments.
The Roosters are under an NRL investigation in regard to Robinson’s comments that were highly critical of the bunker and Cummins after the 20-18 loss to St George Illawarra on Monday.
The Tricolours are also the subject of another investigation into an alleged altercation between their staff and match officials in the Allianz Stadium tunnel shortly after fulltime.
According to reports Roosters chairman Nick Politis confronted NRL CEO Todd Greenberg about the bunker’s influence on matches, while Robinson is alleged to have had a heated discussion with 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.
Robinson said he expected his comments to draw the interest of the NRL.
When asked whether he would call referees boss Tony Archer on Tuesday to discuss the issues, Robinson replied: “I would say (NRL CEO) Todd (Greenberg) might be ringing.”
The Roosters are facing a hefty fine over the incidents.
A decision on any punitive action taken against the Roosters is expected to come from the NRL on Tuesday evening.