NRL: Refs boss okay with soft ruling on Gallen

Paul Gallen. Photo / Getty Images
Paul Gallen. Photo / Getty Images

NRL referees boss Daniel Anderson says he was satisfied with the decision not to sin-bin Paul Gallen in Wednesday's State of Origin opener.

The NSW skipper was put on report and will miss Cronulla's clash with Melbourne tomorrow after catching Nate Myles with a flurry of punches in the Blues 14-6 win at ANZ Stadium in Sydney after pleading guilty to a grade two striking charge.

The incident on the stroke of halftime led to a melee between players from both sides but referee Ashley Klein opted not to give Gallen 10 minutes off the field.

Myles said he was not upset by the decision not to punish Gallen for the incident at the time and Maroons coach Mal Meninga said likewise, with NSW coach Laurie Daley calling it a great Origin moment.

However, Meninga changed his tune somewhat 12 hours later saying the Blues captain was lucky to stay on the field.

"It shouldn't be part of Origin really, it should be a sin bin at least," he said.

Anderson said he was pleased with the overall performances of Klein and Shayne Hayne although he conceded Gallen and Cooper Cronk were fortunate to stay on the field.

Cronk was penalised for failing to allow James Maloney to get up and play the ball after the five-eighth had made a break for the line.

"These games are difficult to referee as there is a lot at stake for both teams," said Anderson.

"There were two possible sin-bins, one from Cooper Cronk for a professional foul on Maloney in the first half, but the adjudication was not to put him in the sin-bin.

"In regards to Paul Gallen, he was put on report, he was penalised and the match review committee have dealt with it.

"Although we don't condone striking in any way, I am comfortable with both decisions."

Anderson is yet to make a decision who will be in charge of game two but said he didn't expect the furore to make it harder to officiate.

"Game two will be difficult because there is a lot at stake," he said.

- AAP

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