James Tedesco act called out as NRL confirms Tigers were dudded against Panthers

Graham Annesley has addressed a number of contentious incidents from round 7.

NRL head of football Graham Annesley has admitted Brad Schneider should have been sin-binned in the Panthers' win over the Wests Tigers, while also revealing James Tedesco could have been marched for tripping Ryan Papenhuyzen. NRL fans and commentators were left in disbelief on Saturday when officials only awarded the Tigers a penalty despite Schneider committing a blatant professional foul.

With Justin Olam streaming downfield in support of Junior Tupou after a line-break, Schneider dived and ankle-tapped Olam before he received the ball. Olam had put himself in a position to receive the ball from Tupou back on the inside and had a good chance to race away and score.

Brad Schneider, pictured here ankle-tapping Justin Olam.
Brad Schneider committed a blatant professional foul when he ankle-tapped Justin Olam, but wasn't sin-binned. Image: Fox League

But the ball went to ground because Schneider took out Olam illegally. But inexplicably, neither the on-field referee nor the Bunker deemed Schneider's actions were a professional foul and he was allowed to stay on the field.

The Tigers had a 6-0 lead at the time and appeared to be well on top, and who knows what would have happened if they were given the chance to attack against 12 men. But Schneider was wrongly allowed to stay on the field and the Panthers turned the tide to run out 22-6 winners.

Discussing the situation on Monday, Annesley admitted it should have been a sin-bin. “It doesn’t matter whether they would’ve scored a try or not," he said. “You can’t interfere deliberately with a support player, effectively bring him to the ground and prevent him from having any opportunity to play part in what may happen next – whether it’s a try or not – and escape without going to the sin-bin in that situation.

“I’m always reluctant to put a black and white answer on anything because circumstances next time could be slightly different, but it was a deliberate tap and he has to reach out to do it. In my view, that certainly warrants a sin-bin.”

James Tedesco could have been sin-binned for tripping

Annesley also pointed out that players can be sin-binned for tripping with their feet, as we saw with Tedesco and Drew Hutchison over the weekend. Many were gobsmacked that Tedesco wasn't binned after he stuck out his leg at the same time as his arm and brought down Papenhuyzen during the Storm and Roosters clash.


The same occurred with Hutchison when he tripped a Knights player in the Bulldogs' win over Newcastle. In years gone past a trip was always an automatic send-off, but the rules have been relaxed to an extremely lesser degree.

Tedesco and Hutchison were both placed on report but were allowed to stay on the field and escaped suspension. Annesley said on Monday: “We’ve discussed it this morning with the referee coaching staff and the referees that were in the room this morning – both tripping and also that kind of interference to a support player who’s not in possession of the ball...It should have been a sin bin, in my view."

James Tedesco, pictured here tripping Ryan Papenhuyzen.
James Tedesco wasn't sin-binned for tripping Ryan Papenhuyzen. Image: Channel 9

Referee praised after Jack Hetherington and Reed Mahoney incident

Annesley also praised referee Peter Gough for his actions when sin-binning Jack Hetherington and Reed Mahoney on Sunday. Hetherington has been hit with a one-match ban after an altercation with Mahoney in the tunnel as they were heading to their dressing rooms.

Annesley was quick to highlight that Gough had done the right thing in waiting for Hetherington to leave the field before giving Mahoney his marching orders as well. "What the referee did on the field was exactly what he should have done,” Annesley said.

“He knew that it was a tricky environment at the time and players were still at each other, so he sent Jack to the bin and then waited a considerable amount of time – probably longer than you would normally see in that situation – before he then followed up with Reed. There was a significant amount of space between them, enough time for that incident to never happen. That’s why there was no excuse for that, and he’ll pay a relatively small price, but very fortunate that it didn’t develop into something more serious.”