Robinson sees NRL inconsistency, confusion

Coach Trent Robinson says the NRL is picking and choosing which incidents it clamps down on.
Coach Trent Robinson says the NRL is picking and choosing which incidents it clamps down on.

Trent Robinson will ask the NRL what Siosiua Taukeiaho was meant to do when he collected a falling Nathan Cleary high, claiming the league picks and chooses what it wants to clamp down on.

Taukeiaho was sin-binned in the Sydney Roosters' 38-12 loss to Penrith on Friday, as coach Robinson's men went from 12-6 up to 20-12 down in the 10 minutes they were down a man late in the first half.

The Tongan international on Saturday avoided a ban over the hit, handed only a grade-one charge for which he can accept a fine.

Cleary had slipped on the wet Penrith turf, with Robinson arguing his prop forward had his arm by his side when Cleary fell into the tackle.

The three-time premiership-winning coach also claimed the bunker was having too much power over the game, inferring the game was effectively being officiated by two referees again.

"I'm interested physically what Siosiua could have done there," Robinson said.

"Was he supposed to jump out of the way?

"I think the NRL needs to explain what happens in those incidents. What do they want him to do?"

Robinson was one of the biggest proponents of the NRL's crackdown in its early stages, but he has become increasingly frustrated in recent weeks.

He claimed last week the NRL were more willing to sin-bin players when the man who was hit stayed down, allowing gamesmanship to creep into the game.

The veteran coach was also miffed over whether mitigating factors such as players falling are taken into account, arguing it is at times when players are on the ground in goals.

He also claimed Joey Manu was the victim of a shoulder charge from Cleary in the first half that went unpunished, when the pair collided as Manu kicked.

Cleary was not charged on Saturday, leaving him free to play Origin II.

"We know what they're doing, let's look after our players. We all agree with it. But they are picking and choosing," Robinson said.

"And I have been disappointed with the Roosters way that they have been picking and choosing this year.

"There is nothing on report, nothing gets seen to. I have to get Joey Manu off during that period but the bunker doesn't go back and look at that.

"I have to get him off for a head assessment on a shoulder charge ... Joey is lying on the ground and nothing gets said."

Meanwhile, Panthers coach Ivan Cleary did not want to buy into the debate, but conceded Taukeiaho could do little but collect the halfback high.

"The game has made a stance, whether you agree with it or not," Ivan said.

"The game is accountable for the product.

"I think we all saw it's difficult. There are so many situations. What are the defenders meant to do?

"But there is a reason they have done it."

Australian Associated Press