Opposing coaches Trent Robinson and Benji Marshall have been left with conflicting views over a late shot that saw Jared Waerea-Hargreaves sent to the sin bin during the Sydney Roosters' 32 points to 8 win over the Wests Tigers on Saturday evening.
The game, which keeps the Roosters in the finals race if they can topple the South Sydney Rabbitohs next weekend, saw the tri-colours come home with a wet sail to skip away 18 unanswered second-half points.
They did it for ten minutes a man down though after Waerea-Hargreaves was sin-binned following a late shot on Apisai Koroisau. A scuffle immediately broke out between the two teams, with the firey prop also involved and appearing to headbut Tigers' prop Stefano Utoikamanu.
Incoming Wests Tigers coach Benji Marshall, who is taking press conference duties for the remainder of this year after the club confirmed he would replace Tim Sheens in 2024, said Waerea-Hargreaves had crossed the line and got what he deserved.
“It's hard for Jared. I know him pretty well, he's got a pretty big head. That's footy,” Marshall said in his post-match press conference.
“Jared's one of those players that crosses the line and he turns into this beast and demon on the field and plays on the edge
“I've been in a team with him and you love having those blokes on your team but I thought he crossed the line tonight, especially with the hit. He got what he deserved.”
Roosters coach Robinson, who has been under pressure this year with his team misfiring for much of the campaign, said there wasn't much to the tackle, and felt there was more in the scuffle that followed immediately afterward.
"It was a late challenge. It was a bit firey there at times and I felt like there was a lot of late challenges tonight," Robinson said.
"He obviously got it wrong, the timing of that, but I thought there wasn't much to it in the end. I thought the scuffle had more to it than that.
"[The hit] was late and should have been penalised. It shouldn't have been done, but most of it was body and chest. A wild arm there but it didn't contact."
Waerea-Hargreaves never returned to the field after his stint in the sin bin was over, and Robinson said the call was made to not take any risk.
"I thought we had the game won, and I thought it was just best to take the opportunity and not risk any more fireworks," Robinson added when asked whether he had slapped Waerea-Hargreaves on the wrist by keeping him on the bench.