PENRITH playmaker Travis Burns will come under intense scrutiny from the match review committee today after he was sent off for a high tackle that broke Roosters front-rower Martin Kennedy's nose - having already been reported for a chicken wing tackle.
Roosters coach Brian Smith said he was ''mildly astonished'' by both incidents, which led to two of his players being injured.
Burns faces a contrary conduct charge over a possible chicken wing tackle on Roosters forward Mose Masoe, and could be handed a reckless high tackle charge after his second-half hit on Kennedy.
''I was mildly astonished by both, one that the referee didn't see the chicken wing to start with - obviously in today's world, we don't often see a send-off. I'll leave that for others to discuss the merits of that,'' Smith said.
Burns was sent off in the 71st minute after the tackle on Kennedy, which sparked a scuffle between players. He appeared to jump into the tackle, and hit Kennedy hard enough to break his nose and give him mild concussion. Penrith coach Ivan Cleary admitted Burns ''might have gone a little far''.
''He's an aggressive guy, and he was in an aggressive mood at that stage, for sure,'' Cleary said. ''That was part of his job for the team, to try and fire up his teammates. He might have gone a little bit far there.''
Cleary said he was not comfortable with aspects of Burns's actions. ''I'm not comfortable with giving away penalties and bringing them back in the game,'' he said. ''The fact we had 12 men didn't help either at the end of the game.''
He held a different view of the chicken wing. Even though Masoe aggravated a shoulder injury as a result of the 30th-minute tackle by Burns, Cleary was highly critical of the process that led to him being placed on report. Burns, who had recently come on after starting on the bench, was placed on report after video referee Paul Mellor reviewed the tackle while Masoe was treated.
Cleary said video referees being able to rule on foul play opened the sport up to gamesmanship.
''The supposed chicken wing … I've got to say it's a real problem in the game,'' Cleary said. ''It's not the chicken wing that's the problem, it's the use of video ref. I just don't like it. There seems to be a lot of people laying around the ground - I'm not saying he [Masoe] did - but there are certainly a lot of guys that are on the ground for a long time and end up still playing, later on.
''I'd hate to think our game will turn into a little bit like another code.
''It's a hard one for him [the video ref] to work out. He's not a psychologist. What that does is it brings in that option [of gamesmanship].
''The NRL is a big business. People will do anything to win games.''
Cleary said he did not believe there was ''anything'' in the tackle.
''He was basically holding his arm and ended up almost like that,'' Cleary said. ''A chicken wing, in its purest sense, whatever that is … he was hardly going to pull his shoulder out of its socket.''
Masoe left the field shortly after. The Roosters medical staff confirmed later he had aggravated an established shoulder problem. He had a painkilling injection before kick-off and another at half-time, following the Burns tackle.
Roosters centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall said Burns was ''on fire'' yesterday. ''He's a nuggety little thing and he's a bit of a hothead,'' Kenny-Dowall said. ''And he brought a lot of intensity to the team, and ended up in the bin. It looks bad for him. He came in with an intent and, unfortunately, he's on report.''
PENRITH 28 (B Tighe 2 M Jennings M Robinson D Simmons tries L Walsh 4 goals) bt SYDNEY ROOSTERS 16 (B Cordner S Kenny-Dowall A Minichiello tries B Anasta 2 goals) at Centrebet Stadium. Referee: Gavin Reynolds, Ashley Klein. Crowd: 9,646.