Tupou cops one-game ban, Annesley admits ‘misjudgement’ and refs get binned for sins

The Roosters didn’t waste time in submitting an early guilty plea for winger Daniel Tupou for his controversial high shot on Dragons opponent Mikaele Ravalawa in the Anzac Day loss at the SCG.

Tupou was allowed to stay on the field for his tackle in the 54th minute despite the NRL’s edict of sin bins for direct contact to the head.

The Roosters halved his potential two-match ban to one by submitting an early guilty plea a couple of hours after receiving the charge on Tuesday morning.

He will miss this Saturday’s clash with the Bulldogs at Accor Stadium.

NRL head of football Graham Annesley said on Tuesday that Tupou and Warriors forward Aaron Pene should have been sin-binned in Monday’s matches.

Pene was also charged with a grade-two careless high tackle for his hit on centre Reimis Smith just before half-time in the 70-10 annihilation at the hands of Melbourne. He also reduced a two-match ban to one by not contesting the charge.

“The rules haven’t changed,” Annesley stressed.

“When you look at them in any kind of objective assessment … there is very little doubt both of those should have resulted in sin-bin outcomes.

“It’s just a misjudgement. There is no other way to describe it.

“With the benefit of hindsight (the bunker) would make a different decision.”

Adam Gee, who refereed the Dragons-Roosters game, and Chris Sutton, who oversaw the Storm-Warriors match, were dumped when the NRL on Tuesday night announced the list of officials for Round 7. Gee has been relegated to the Bunker Review Official role for Saturday’s Bulldogs v Roosters clash while Sutton’s name was nowhere to be seen on the schedule.

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo told 2GB on Monday night that he thought Tupou should have been given a stint in the sin bin for the coathanger style tackle. Ravalawa was not injured in the incident but Tupou’s arm hit him in the side of the head after grazing the top of the ball.

“From where I was sitting to me it was a sin bin – direct contact to the head,” Abdo said.

“I was very surprised it wasn’t a sin bin, I think it should have been.”

St George Illawarra coach Anthony Griffin was mystified by the decision to only award a penalty, saying Tupou could have been sent off for the rest of the match.

“You would have got two years in jail in Magic Round last year [during the NRL’s high contact crackdown]. I’m serious,” he said.

“He had 30 metres to decide where to tackle him. It was direct contact with the head. I don’t understand the rules. It should have at least been in the bin.

“I’m not here to bag anyone or make it the story of the night, but it’s just black and white to what’s been happening. It’s not even a question. If you’re not going to put that in the bin for some of the things that have been in the bin over the last four or five weeks … I don’t know where we go now.”

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