The South Sydney Rabbitohs have claimed their first win of the season with a 26-12 win over the Manly Sea Eagles in a fiery affair in wet conditions in Sydney.
But it hasn’t come without controversy after Manly and Queensland skipper Daly Cherry-Evans has earned his side a try in the first half after falling to the ground after chasing through his own kick.
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It was 25 minutes into the game when Cherry-Evans kicked for himself and appeared to be free and clear as the Sea Eagles attempted to chase down the 10-0 lead the Rabbitohs had rushed out to.
But when he only had Latrell Mitchell to beat, Cherry-Evans was bumped by Mitchell and fell to the ground.
It saw the referee send the decision up to the bunker for a possible penalty try.
Upon further reflection, former NRL star Braith Anasta appeared to believe the word “bump” may even be too harsh for what saw Cherry-Evans fall over.
“He hardly touches him and then he [Cherry-Evans] falls over,” Anasta said.
“I don’t think Latrell even, I mean he just brushes him and Daly gets off balance a little bit and falls over.
“There’s not much in this. Is there enough for a penalty let alone a sin bin?”
The moment that saw Latrell sin binned.Source:FOX SPORTS
The bunker said Mitchell “played Cherry-Evans with his left hand out” and “interferes with him”.
Fox League commentator Warren Smith said “I’m happy with that” to Anasta’s disbelief.
“it wasn’t much, but he made contact with him and he give the bunker and the referee every chance to do what they’ve done,” Smith said.
While the penalty try was denied, it was a professional foul and Mitchell was sent to the bin.
“It’s very soft, very soft. I understand it, I just don’t know if I agree with it,” Anasta said.
On social media, Cherry-Evans was accused of milking the result.
Congratulations to DCE on that Oscar worthy performance.#NRL#NRLManlySouthspic.twitter.com/sAvRdCS76g
DCE won't be available for @QLDmaroons as he's just been signed up by @russellcrowe not to go to Souths but HOLLYWOOD mid year after a splendid piece of acting there for @SeaEagles 😂😂😂 #NRL#NRLManlySouths
Lachlan Croker then scored off the ensuing set, scoring from dummy half.
The Rabbitohs did hit back on the verge of halftime with Adam Reynolds kicking a 40-20 and Mitchell scored the try to make it 14-6 at the break.
Cherry-Evans fell to the ground.Source:FOX SPORTS
But at halftime, Michael Ennis unloaded on the situation, labelling it “crap”
“I don’t think it was a tryscoring situation, I don’t think that Daly Cherry-Evans was ever going to score there,” Ennis said. “I don’t like the rule. I think what Gerard Sutton’s ruling with Latrell where it’s at at the moment was right but I’d like to see that changed. Penalty is sufficient there. It’s ridiculous. It was an innocuous tap that barely bumped Cherry-Evans and all of a sudden, we’ve got one of the best players in the competition sitting on the sideline. It’s crap.”
Cherry-Evans did try his luck again later, attempting to milk a penalty by playing a ball hard into a defender who was in the ruck but the skipper wasn’t as lucky.
Cherry-Evans said: “He was lying in the ruck.”
Sutton responded: “You’ve done that deliberately, Daly. You milked, you’ve deliberately done that to try and draw a penalty.”
Anasta appeared to have enough of Cherry-Evans’ ploys.
“He got cheeky. It’s embarrassing, it’s a little bit embarrassing,” he said.
While the Sea Eagles made it tight with a try to Martin Taupau in the 58th minute, the Rabbitohs flexed their muscles late, scoring two more tries through Damien Cook and Alex Johnston to blow out the score.
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