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Featured Image Credit: NRL/Supplied.
The NRL finals clash between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Sydney Roosters had a mammoth seven sin-bins in what has been labelled a ‘shocking advertisement’ for the sport.
The fiery clash finished 30-14 in favour of the Bunnies, however, the event was marred by reckless play and constant hold-ups by referee Ashley Klein.
The likes of Victor Radley and Taane Milne were sent to the bin twice in an NRL first, while the seven total sin bins was an NRL record.
Rugby league reporter Phil Rothfield has now taken aim at the fixture on Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast, where he blamed the competition's soft disciplinary action this season as means for allowing such play.
Buzz said: “That game was a really, really bad advertisement for rugby league.
“There were players on the football field that weren’t there to play rugby league.
“I tell you what the problem is and I’ve been banging on about it for a couple of years is that we have the world’s softest judiciary.
“So players will go out there and do these head-high tackles, they’ll risk going to the sin bin, but they know they’ll be fine and they won’t get a decent suspension like what used to happen in the old days.
“Even sin bins now mean bugger-all. Souths were reduced to 11 players for 10 minutes and they won that section of the game six-nil.”
A scathing attack, but a fairly warranted one considering the action turned into a bloodbath rather than a game of footy.
Rothfield added: “If you guys want to watch rugby league like that, go and watch UFC — it was rubbish that game.
“It was a shocking advertisement for rugby league.”
One fan said: “Ashley Klein is a moron. As rugby league fans we should all pray he is nowhere near a grand final ever again.”
Another commented: “Ashley Klein has had zero control over this game and this should be his last game for the year
Whilst another tweeted: “How is Ashley Klein still officiating games? Has completely lost control and has decided the entire outcome of the result. Farcical stuff.”
Rothfield seemingly disagreed in his assessment of the game, revealing he spoke to NRL’s head of football Graham Annesley who have Klein praise for his handling of the game.
Rothfield claims Annesley believes ‘it took a referee as strong as Klein to remove seven players from the field’.
Regardless of the blame, the game certainly wasn’t flashy for viewers.