The magnificent but incident-laden NRL career of Jared Waerea-Hargreaves took another controversial turn on Saturday night, when the Roosters veteran was sin-binned for unleashing a foul-mouthed spray at the referee.
Late in the Panthers’ 32-12 win over the Roosters at the SCG, Waerea-Hargreaves collected James Fisher-Harris high as the Penrith prop crossed for a try.
It originally appeared that all Gerard Sutton would do was report Waerea-Hargreaves and give the Panthers a shot at an eight-point penalty try, but the official showed no hesitation in going a step further when the Roosters front-rower dropped an expletive.
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“You take every opportunity to put me on report, don’t you reckon?” Waerea-Hargreaves fumed as Sutton reported him.
“I’m just sayin’. Every time, bro. Every f—ing time. It’s not fair, mate.”
It was at that point that Sutton snapped, raising his arms and telling the New Zealand Test representative to go.
Waerea-Hargeaves continued to argue.
“No, no, no,” he said.
“Every f—ing time, bro. Every time.”
As Waerea-Hargreaves trudged from the field, Sutton said to Roosters captain James Tedesco: “I can’t tolerate that”.
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NRL Highlights: Roosters v Panthers – Round 11
Trent Robinson admitted Waerea-Hargreaves shouldn’t have spoken like he did when asked about the situation in his press conference, but the Roosters coach also defended the workhorse.
“I heard what he said. I think there’s a couple of things there,” Robinson said.
“You can’t speak that way. It wasn’t bad, but he swore. He didn’t swear at him, he didn’t abuse him; he just obviously swore in that bit there… and if that’s unacceptable, I’m not sure. We haven’t seen too much of those. If there’s a swear word used if they’re going off, then that’s fine.
“And Jared’s also right. Guys hit guys around the chops like that all the time. How many eight-point tries have we seen from guys diving in the corner and getting hit in the head and all of that? That just doesn’t happen. If that’s James Tedesco doing that tackle he’s not on report. That’s not a reportable tackle.
“And then you can’t speak like that.
“If Jared does something like that, everyone’s ears prick up. We had a guy miss this week for getting concussed and it just wasn’t even really spoken about. If Jared does that then it’s a different story. I guess that’s what he felt and I think he expressed that clearly and in the wrong way, which got him 10 in the bin.”
Penrith’s win was set up by a first-half Jarome Luai double.
The scores were locked at 0-0 in the 29th minute, before the Panthers struck with three quick-fire tries to take an 18-0 buffer into the break.
The Panthers now sit two wins clear on top of the ladder, and the Roosters are placed seventh.
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