Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
The overhaul to the NRL’s judiciary system may have resulted in all players getting a clean slate in terms of past indiscretions but reputations can be hard to shake.
An issue that many fans believe has become blatantly obvious this season is the different treatment certain players receive when being punished on the field for an incident.
One of these players is Roosters forward Jared Waerea-Hargreaves who throughout his 264 game NRL career has become synonymous with committing indiscretions that have resulted in him spending a lot of time on the sidelines.
These incidents have also resulted in the New Zealand International gaining a negative reputation that has at times seen him be treated unfairly in the eyes of many fans.
Last night was the most recent example of this as Waerea-Hargreaves was put on report with a little over 17 minutes to go in the Roosters game against the Brisbane Broncos for grabbing Ryan James’ leg while being tackled by the 30-year-old.
Upon viewing the replay it was made apparent that Waerea-Hargreaves’ contact with James’ leg was minimal but the Brisbane forward went to the ground clutching at his leg nonetheless.
Since the game there have been allegations of milking from James and that if anyone other than Waerea-Hargreaves had committed this “offence” it would not have resulted in the player being placed on report.
Channel Nine’s The Mole expressed his displeasure with the call via his Twitter page.
“Would anyone but JWH be penalised there?,” said The Mole.
“Will get a month!”
Fox League pundit Greg Alexander made his thoughts known immediately after the decision to put Waerea-Hargreaves on report was made as he was calling the game alongside Dan Ginnane.
Would anyone but JWH be penalised there?
Will get a month!
— The Mole (@9_Moley) April 8, 2022
“I’ve never seen that,” Greg Alexander stated.
“Someone penalised for grabbing someone else’s leg who is standing at marker.
“He can be penalised for just making contact with the marker, get your hands off.
“But when it is a potential game decider that is a pedantic penalty.”
Waerea-Hargreaves must now face the NRL’s judiciary panel but did not seem too bemused after the game, taking part in his side’s victory celebrations after they defeated the Broncos 24-20.