By Melanie Dinjaski and Zachary Gates
Roosters coach Trent Robinson has lashed the bunker and NRL officials after the Tricolours were thumped 54-12 by cross-city rivals the Rabbitohs on Friday night.
The feisty encounter was filled with drama and it was an incident that left centre Joey Manu with a suspected broken cheekbone that really riled up Robinson.
Manu was clobbered by South Sydney's Latrell Mitchell with a vicious high shot, and as a result he needed to go to hospital to receive medical treatment. However, Mitchell was only given 10 minutes in the sin bin by referee Ashley Klein, who also allowed play to continue as Manu lay on the turf after the hit. Only when the Roosters star confronted Mitchell over the tackle and a melee erupted did Klein intervene.
"Everybody saw the incident. I'm just baffled," a livid Robinson said in his post-match press conference.
"He was down for how long? And then it took Joey to stand up and go and stick up for himself with a depressed fracture of the cheekbone and then they still didn't want to do anything about it."
Latrell clobbers Manu
Robinson took aim at bunker official Henry Perenara as well as Klein in a fiery, lengthy rant.
"Henry Perenara, sitting in the Bunker, didn't stop play, didn't do anything about it. Then Ashley (Klein) asked them to play on and the players went at it again and then (Perenara) just missed it completely.
"Perenara, who's supposed to know some footy, sitting up in the box – and then doesn't do anything about it. For maybe 30, 40, 50 seconds, doesn't do a thing about it. Joey Manu does something about it.
"It's a common theme this year, about the NRL and the bunker not looking after our players. It's been clear. They've changed two rules – two of the major rules this year – based on the bunker and the referees doing nothing about it on Roosters players. And you can say I'm blowing up about a Roosters player, but (Manu is) off at hospital. And then they get forced to finally make a call on it and they send him for 10 in the bin. Ten in the bin! It was laughable. It was that bad, it was almost laughable.
"They didn't know what they were doing. How do you send that for 10 in the bin? A guy will finish the year based on a late shot to the head and it's 10 minutes in the bin."
The Roosters coach went as far as to question whether the officials are worthy of their role after their decision-making over the incident.
"You cannot make decisions if that's your decision," he said.
"Get out of there. If you can't do it get out of there, or just get rid of (the bunker) completely. Get rid of it completely. If you cannot do your job get out of there.
"It's shown that the NRL bunker cannot do their job this year. It's been a farce, it's been an absolute farce.
"Like, to see Joey Manu walk off, have to stick up for himself ... that should have been stopped 10 seconds after the incident. It's that bad it's actually funny. It's that bad it's actually funny.
"What are they doing up there? I don't know what they're doing up there.
"I've got ... that circus music going on in the background and streamers and stuff. There must be something going on when a Roosters player gets hit high in 2021. There must be something that distracts them. It's like the twilight zone up there when a Roosters player gets hit high."
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