Napa’s tackle is still reverberating. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)
Napa’s tackle is still reverberating. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Greenberg: MRC Napa call was wrong

NRL boss Todd Greenberg has conceded his match-review committee blundered in failing to charge Roosters forward Dylan Napa for the knockout tackle that broke Korbin Sims' jaw.

In a wideranging interview in reaction to the NRL's crazy weekend that included a timekeeper stuff-up, a send-off and 14 sin-bins, Greenberg admitted Napa's head clash in the dying moments of the game against the Broncos deserved a suspension.

The NRL chief executive also took ownership of the timekeeping blunder and revealed there would be a crackdown on dummy-halves deliberately milking penalties by throwing the ball at opponents.


"We own it. We made an error, and it won't happen again. I've been pretty disappointed with some of the things I've seen and read over the weekend. That was one of them. There has been a strong directive to our staff today to ensure that doesn't happen again.

"Parts of the process broke down over the weekend. The fans expect us to do better. As the NRL, we police the games, we monitor the games, and run the games, and that's exactly our directive."


"We've been looking at some technology advancements around sin bins for a few months now. Clearly there are some opportunities for us to use some of the shot clocks we currently use as well as the bunker. The short answer is 'yes, we'll look at it'."


"I can understand why people will be debating that. Ultimately we've got a judiciary code, we've got a whole pile of rules in place, and sometimes they don't marry up between suspensions and injuries. That's a common product of some of the things that happen in the game."


Greenberg has his hands full, as usual. (Brett Costello)
Greenberg has his hands full, as usual. (Brett Costello)


"My first thought was that the referees on the field did a good job. I thought it was a good sin bin. Ultimately, then it goes to an independent process which is our match review committee. My personal view is player safety always comes first, and if you're going to err on the side of caution, I thought it warranted a charge.

"Ultimately, these are decisions which are made independently, and this highlights the process of an independent panel. But what I would say is that's a tackle which happened in real time.

"You have two experienced coaches, who I have a great admiration for. They're both watching the same game, at the same time, and both have polar opposite views of that particular tackle. I think that gives you some insight into the challenges the game faces."


Wayne Bennett could be reprimanded. (Annette Dew)
Wayne Bennett could be reprimanded. (Annette Dew)


"I haven't looked at any of the comments from coaches. That's something we'll do over the course of this week."


"I don't think it is (being overused). This time last year, I heard calls from players, coaches, fans and commentators about putting more people in the sin bin for repeated offences.

"That's exactly what we're doing, and we're going to keep doing it until such time as the players continue to follow the rules."

Ref talk is dragging on too long. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Ref talk is dragging on too long. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)


"We've done something and I've done it today. I've provided a directive to the referees to ensure that we don't want to see committee meetings on the tryline while we're waiting for the play to restart.

"The onus of responsibility is on the referee to have a very brief conversation, provide a warning to the opposing captain, and to get on with the game. That's exactly what I've told them today.

"I don't want committee meetings on the tryline. If the referee wants to give a captain a warning, make it quick, make it short, make it sharp.

"Let's get on with the game. That's what the fans want to see."

David Nofoaluma is in no rush after being sin-binned. (AAP Image/David Rowland)
David Nofoaluma is in no rush after being sin-binned. (AAP Image/David Rowland)


"We talked about this at the Competition Committee meeting. The starting proposition was to put the onus of responsibility back on the coaches and the players.

"We've said to the coaches and players, 'if you get sent to the sin bin, get off the field and do it quickly'.

"If that's going to continue to delay, then I'll come in over the top and mandate some changes."


"I jumped on this today. I watched some of these examples over the weekend.

"It was a bad look for the game and, in simple terms, not in the spirit of the game.

"I've directed the referees that if they see a player like that, deliberately throwing the ball into another, they should give a penalty to the opposition team. You'll see that happen this weekend.

"Sometimes these things happen in the game. But when you see them, you've got to deal with them quickly.

"What I saw over the weekend looked ridiculous to me - players purposely throwing the ball into a player laying in and around the ruck.

"If it happens deliberately, teams can expect a penalty."

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