There is one coach in the NRL, that goes ballistic when he sees some bad calls go against his team – Des Hasler. This time around, was no different, with Dogs coach Des Hasler livid at the standard of refereeing by Gavin Badger and Ben Cummins, in his side’s 20-10 loss against the Bunnies.
Playing in front of record Souths attendance of 35,221, the Dogs have now lost 2 of their last 3 games – with Souths winger Andrew Everingham proving to be the star, with a two try performance.
It was the 7-2 penalty that had Hasler fuming, as well as the referee’s decision to penalise Ennis for not putting his arm around prop James Graham shoulder in the scrum.
“I cannot understand a 7-2 penalty count. 7-2 is not right,” Hasler said.
“Imagine penalising a fellow in a scrum for not putting his arm around the shoulder.
“That’s absolutely ridiculous. That’s a stupid penalty, it’s an unwarranted penalty and it doesn’t make sense.”
He was also left seething at Ennis being put on report for a high shot on Souths halfback Adam Reynolds – a charge that Hasler believes the NRL match review committee will rule in his side’s favour.
“There will be plenty of other tackles that have gone unsighted, that haven’t been put on report, before an arm goes around the chest,” he said.
“I thought the referee had a clear view on it and he called play on.”
“(It was) open-handed, hit him on the chest.”
Ennis himself was also left baffled by the decision, and believes that he is often single out by referees.
“I don’t wear this brace for a laugh. There is a reason I’ve got it on,” said Ennis.
“Your arm can only go so far. That’s what I was saying (to the ref).”
For Souths, coach Michael Maguire labelled his side’s performance tonight as the best he has seen during his tenure at the club – despite a possible season-ending pectoral injury, for Kiwi prop Roy Asotasi.
“I thought it was a real courageous effort from our players today. We’ve worked really hard on our defence and that has paid off today,” he said.
“The Bulldogs were down on our line and the courage we showed to keep them out was very pleasing.
“They looked after each other and worked hard for one another and the one thing we’ve been trying to pride ourselves on is playing for a full game. We did that today and come up with the points.”
Maguire is also pleased with the composure of his young halfback, and sees progression in his game every week.
“He’s continually growing in his confidence. He is a talented little kid and has a good head on his shoulders,” he said.
“He’s still got to make massive improvements still but he is taking it to another level each week.
“He is kicking well for the team and starting to talk more and it is great to see him doing that.”