NO HEAD CASE

Match re­view com­mit­tee de­cides ref­er­ees got Napa de­ci­sion wrong

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NRL - MICHAEL CARAYANNIS

IT was the blun­der that proved to be a cru­cial call and has left Roost­ers of­fi­cials pri­vately seething fol­low­ing their loss to Bris­bane on Fri­day night.

The match re­view com­mit­tee has de­cided ref­eree Ger­ard Sut­ton — and bunker of­fi­cial Ash­ley Klein — were wrong to have pe­nalised and sin-binned Roost­ers fire­brand Dy­lan Napa.

Napa was cleared by the match re­view com­mit­tee yes­ter­day despite the mo­men­tumshift­ing call dur­ing the Roost­ers’ 28-22 loss to Bris­bane on Fri­day night. Napa launched him­self at Bron­cos for­ward Korbin Sims, who was cleared of se­ri­ous in­jury, but a step from Sims caused Napa to fly head­first into his Bris­bane coun­ter­part.

It is un­der­stood that the step by Sims is what helped clear Napa.

The prop was placed on re­port and sin-binned — based on the ad­vice from Klein in the bunker — with the scores locked 22-22 at Sun­corp Sta­dium.

Sut­ton claimed Napa “led with his head in a dan­ger­ous fash­ion” as he was marched from the field with five min­utes re­main­ing. The Bron­cos went on to claim vic­tory through a late Ja­mayne Isaako try against a 12-man Roost­ers side. The Roost­ers should have been awarded a scrum feed in­side the Bron­cos half.

The NRL changed the rule head­ing into this sea­son which al­lowed for play­ers to be sin­binned for foul play.

Roost­ers coach Trent Robin­son was fuming post-game

“(Sims) stepped off the right, rolled into the head of Dy­lan. Dy­lan wasn’t even look­ing side­ways and they’ve called that he in­ten­tion­ally went to knock him out with his head ... it’s just wrong,” Robin­son said. “It’s no one’s fault there. You’re al­lowed to be phys­i­cal in our game and if some­one wants to step off their right foot to avoid the con­tact with the left shoul­der, he’s got to go across the head to the other side of the body — and he didn’t get there ... that’s how they clashed heads.

“There are other is­sues there why we didn’t win the game, but that’s a gross er­ror and un­ac­cept­able at this level.”

Chan­nel 9’s Phil Goud la­belled the call “ridicu­lous”.

Napa is free to play the Ti­tans on Satur­day while his State of Ori­gin hopes re­main in­tact af­ter not be­ing hit with a charge.

While the NRL cleared Napa, the league is await­ing a re­port from Sun­corp man­age­ment fol­low­ing sug­ges­tions Napa had to avoid be­ing hit with an ob­ject as he walked off the field.

The NRL had not re­ceived a com­plaint from the Roost­ers, how­ever, a sta­dium spokesman con­firmed an in­ves­ti­ga­tion was un­der way. “We are in­ves­ti­gat­ing and will re­view our CCTV footage,” he said.

The Roost­ers’ D Dy­lan l N Napa clashes lh heads with the Bron­cos’ Korbin K bi Sims Si on F Fri­day iday night night.

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