NO HEAD CASE
Match review committee decides referees got Napa decision wrong
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.