NRL: Inglis backs referees' hard line

Sydney Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is sent off by referee Matt Cecchin after his high shot on Manly prop George Rose. Photo / Getty Images
Sydney Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is sent off by referee Matt Cecchin after his high shot on Manly prop George Rose. Photo / Getty Images

South Sydney star Greg Inglis is pleased if a mid-season rule tweak has empowered referees to give players their marching orders, but NRL boss David Smith insists there's been no official directive.

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves faces a five to seven-week suspension for his high shot on Manly prop George Rose, which led to the Sydney Roosters prop becoming the first player sent off in 2013.

Waerea-Hargreaves was dismissed by referee Matt Cecchin after he hit Rose on the chin late in the Roosters win on Monday night.

The 24-year-old was given a grade-one reckless charge by the match review panel yesterday.

With three similar prior incidents, a potential three-week ban balloons out to seven weeks if he fights the charge at the judiciary and loses, while an early guilty plea will lead to a five-week suspension.

In other judiciary news, South Sydney winger Andrew Everingham will miss two matches after taking the early guilty plea for a grade-two shoulder charge.

Parramatta's Darcy Lussick will also miss two weeks for fighting, while Brisbane's Josh McGuire and Penrith's Mose Masoe escaped suspension with early pleas.

The Roosters have until midday today to decide whether they will fight Waerea-Hargreaves' case at tonight's judiciary.

Inglis has been the victim of four spear tackles this year, resulting in 13 weeks of suspensions but no send-offs.

South Sydney felt the dangerous tackles by Canterbury's Krisnan Inu and Manly's Richie Fa'aoso could have justified sending them off.

Inglis said he was happy if the uproar following those incidents had helped change the mindset of referees.

"Everyone keeps speaking about player welfare," Inglis said yesterday.

"Player safety out on the field - everyone's got to be concerned.

"I was the victim of those incidents but what's done is done. It's in the past. You've got to move forward."

Inglis said he was happy for rules to change mid-season if they were for the right reasons.

"I don't have a drama with it whatsoever ... I'm just glad they're taking action now," he said.

Smith, speaking at a Women in League luncheon, said each tackle needed to be judged on its own merits.

"I don't think there's been a specific directive. I think what's important is that the crime deserves the punishment," he said.

"We need to make sure that we're very consistent in the way we apply the rules and that we don't have foul play in our game."

Rabbitohs forwards Roy Asotasi and Ben Lowe admitted it was tough to get no advantage from the various tackles against Inglis this year.

"The teams that they come up against in the following weeks obviously get the benefit of it," Lowe said. "[But] they're not going out there to send people off or make it a big turning point in the game."

Waerea-Hargreaves' teammate Jake Friend was also charged with a careless high tackle out of Monday night's game, but can escape a ban with an early plea.

NRL referees boss Daniel Anderson was unavailable for comment on the send-off because the tackle could come before the judiciary tonight.


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