Roosters enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was dramatically thrown out against Penrith on Saturday night for insulting referee Gerard Sutton.
He was later sentenced to a Level 1 contrary driving charge and can be fined $1,800 with a guilty plea.
Fox League pundit Michael Ennis explained the Roosters’ enforcer’s history with Sutton played a part in bringing the sins together, while also making an interesting point about an important game coming up.
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“I don’t think Robbo would tolerate the language he used, but you can understand his frustration,” Ennis said.
“Jarrod certainly cut it high, there’s no doubt about it. I don’t think it was ever going to be a sin, but the fact that Jared approached him the way he did, Gerard Sutton doesn’t had none of that.
“I think Jared feels like there’s a story there. I think it was a bit frustrating that it’s been an ongoing battle for a while now with Gerard Suttton.
“Gerard checks everything that leads to Origin because he wants an Origin gig and he will check everything, every try, every penalty.
“He doesn’t want to be the centerpiece of a controversy that could potentially take away a grand final or an Origin match from him.”
Penrith were riding for victory when Waerea-Hargreaves lost his temper at Sutton with 11 minutes left in the game.
James Fisher-Harris was breaking in for the Panthers’ fifth down when he clipped a swingarm to the cheek of Waerea-Hargreaves.
Sutton gave up the try and then called the Roosters mainstay, who warned he was about to be suspended.
“You take every opportunity to report me, don’t you,” Waerea-Hargreaves said to Sutton.
“I say it like that. Every time my brother, every fucking time. It’s not just my homie, I’m telling you.
By then Sutton had heard enough and threw it away as Waerea-Hargreaves protested ‘no, no, no’ before James Tedesco dragged his teammate out.
Waerea-Hargreaves began to walk away while barking her protest twice more at Sutton.
“Every fucking time bro. Every time,” he said.
Sutton simply replied with “go” and Tedesco was forced to stop Waerea-Hargreaves from returning to the referee.
“He won’t change his decision Jared, oh Jared be careful,” Andrew Voss said on Fox League as Waerea-Hargreaves returned to Sutton.
If he continues here, he will be expelled outright. I know he wears his heart on his sleeve and it’s short sleeves to boot.
The Panthers received a second shot on goal due to the incident, which Nathan Cleary scored as the last points of the game they won 32-6.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson did not apologize for the swearing, but fiercely defended Waerea-Hargreaves’ general point.
“You can’t talk that way. It wasn’t bad but he swore. He didn’t insult him, he didn’t abuse him,” Robinson said.
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“He swore and if that’s unacceptable, I’m not sure, but we haven’t seen too many. But if there’s a swear word used (and) they walk away, then that go.
“(But) Jared is also right. Guys hit guys like that around chops all the time. How many eight-pointers have we seen of guys diving into the corner and getting hit in the head, it just doesn’t happen.
“If it’s James Tedesco who makes this tackle, he’s not on the report. Not a high tackle to report.
“(But) you can’t talk like that.”
Robinson then doubled down and suggested Waerea-Hargreaves was targeted by the referees.
“If Jared does something like that, everyone’s ears perk up. We had a guy (Sitili Tupouniua) who we missed this week with a concussion and we didn’t even really talk about it,” he said.
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“If Jared does that, that’s another story and I guess that’s how he felt and I think he said it clearly and in the wrong way, which earned him 10 points at the bin.
“I would be interested to know how many little knees or high shots there were and then there was a penalty, it just doesn’t happen.
“But the high shots happen on the goal line.
“I think we’ve had a sin every game in our last three games against Penrith so Jared is obviously frustrated with that and he’s made that clear and he shouldn’t have sworn to make that point and obviously the ref is sensitive about that too so he threw it in the trash.
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