Dylan Walker didn’t sit off for the full 10 minutes.
Dylan Walker didn’t sit off for the full 10 minutes.

NRL community reacts to sin bin stuff up

A FUMING Melbourne has reportedly already contacted the NRL over two Manly players allegedly returning almost two minutes early from the sin bin.

The Storm were seething after Manly five-eighth Dylan Walker and teammate Api Koroisau, who were sin-binned for their role in a second-half brawl, returned before 10 minutes had lapsed.

Melbourne's Curtis Scott was sent off for throwing a flurry of punches at Walker in Saturday night's fiery AAMI Park clash.

Fox League reported that the Manly players had returned to the field one minute and 41 seconds early.

They also said Storm chief executive Dave Donaghy had phoned NRL boss Todd Greenberg and head of football Brian Canavan before the end of play about the stuff-up.


Fox Sports commentator Andrew Voss was filthy with the hatchet job and placed the blame squarely on the NRL as the governing body claimed it was the clubs' responsibility to elect a timekeeper.

"This is a monumental stuff-up," a livid Voss said. "There's no other way to explain it. The NRL has to take responsibility."



NRL legend Greg Alexander shared that view.

"The NRL owns the sideline. They own the clock and they own everything that happens on the sideline," Alexander said.

The NRL issued a statement post-match saying it would investigate: "The NRL will conduct a full review of the timing of the dismissals and the process.

"The responsibility of the timing for sin bins is held by the clubs, although in this instance, it appears there were no club supplied sin bin operators present at the venue."

While both coaches said they weren't clear on what happened, Storm general manager of football Frank Ponissi confirmed the error.

Ponissi was spotted scolding an NRL official after the blunder but said given the 24-4 scoreline, it was unlikely the Storm would take it further.

"It was obviously an error and he made a mistake but I personally don't want to dwell on it," Ponissi said.

"He made a mistake and, hopefully, it doesn't happen again."

Many in the rugby league media were scathing of the embarrassing error.








Without the cool head of Cameron Smith, who was suspended for a dangerous tackle last week against the Titans, the Storm struggled for composure with the Sea Eagles at their niggling best.

The visitors kept the Storm tryless, while scoring four as they booked back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

With only four victories from the 16 games Smith has sat out since 2011, Melbourne's error count was double that of their opponents. They completed at just 61 per cent.

"I can't remember the last time we played that poorly," said coach Craig Bellamy.

"It was crap, really disappointing."

As well as Scott being marched, four players were sin-binned and Storm prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona was put on report for a dangerous tackle. There were shades of the infamous 2011 Battle of Brookvale, when brawling teams spilled over the sidelines, as the game erupted 10 minutes into the second half. Scott was sent off for throwing a flurry of punches that left Walker with a suspected fractured eye socket.

The first try of the match was scored by Matthew Wright. It was a stunning effort as the winger chased down a kick deep into a corner of the in-goal by Daly Cherry-Evans which caught the Storm's Cameron Munster off-guard as it looked for all money like it was headed out.

The Storm weren't able to capitalise on their numerical advantage, with the Sea Eagles instead adding another try in the other corner with Akuila Uate burning the defence along the narrowest of sideline corridors.

Melbourne's attack continued to look confused without Smith calling the shots and Manly made the most of it with fullback Tom Trbojevic and centre Moses Suli also crossing.

Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett said it was the first time many of his players had won in Melbourne.

"It's always difficult to come down to Melbourne and get two points so it was a huge effort," he said.

"The last three weeks I've been really happy with - we've put ourselves in the game to beat the Roosters and got the points against Brisbane and tonight, I was really proud of them."

- with AAP

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