Rugby League

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Steep penalty count confounds Hasler

CANTERBURY coach Des Hasler said he would visit NRL referees' bosses Bill Harrigan and Stuart Raper next week after being caned 11-2 in the penalties by Jared Maxwell and Brett Suttor in last night's shock loss to the Gold Coast.

Two Titans tries in the 25-14 defeat were preceded by penalties for dissent as Gold Coast survived a late charge by the Dogs to prevail 25-14 at Suncorp Stadium, with Sam Kasiano reported for what appeared to be a shoulder charge gone wrong on Titan Luke O'Dwyer.

"I'll pop in and see them next week," said Hasler after the scrappy match in which ex-Dog Aidan Sezer starred for Gold Coast.

"We weren't that bad for an 11-2 penalty count. I'm pretty disappointed in that aspect – particularly when you get reports from the referees' bosses that 'oh, you're doing well, your side is disciplined'.

"And then all of a sudden, an 11-2 penalty count. Where does that come from? I just thought we were never allowed to get into the match."

Kasiano had an unlikely supporter over his 45th-minute shoulder charge, which left the replacement dazed and forced him off until late in the game,


"I'm fine with them, I see that as accidental contact," said Titans coach John Cartwright. "If they've made a decision that there's no shoulder contact with the head, you're going to get pinged for it.

"But personally, I don't really have a problem with it."

Cartwright said O'Dwyer passed cognisance tests before returning to the field. "We had to send him back out . . . we had a lot of injury and illness," Cartwright explained.

Asked if the the incident compared with Frank Pritchard's hit in round one, Hasler said: "I think Pritchard's was a careless tackle, grade one. We won't know any more on the shoulder charge until we hear from the illustrious review committee."

Cartwright, meanwhile, called on a change to the double-header format, suggesting the late kick-off may contribute to injuries.

"It's tough to play that hour of the night," he said. "The players are sitting in the sheds, they can hear the crowd roar, it was an exciting game.

"It's hard for both sides to go out and try and provide a quality game at nine o'clock at night."

He admitted he wasn't sure if the previous week's golden-point loss to Wests Tigers would come back to haunt his men.

"You talk about those sorts of losses, against the Tigers, but it still can sit in the back of the mind," he said.

"It was getting a bit hairy there. We had a lot of injuries and illness through the camp. It was getting worrying. There was a lot of momentum going their way and they're a dangerous side when they get a bit of ball."