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3 days ago
Furious Cronulla coach Chris Anderson on Wednesday night accused the National Rugby League judiciary of "double standards" after fullback David Peachey was suspended for two weeks on a grade three contrary conduct charge.
Anderson also predicted the verdict would give referees a licence to be "prima donnas".
Sharks chief executive Steve Rogers said it was unlikely the club would appeal the decision, which blemished the otherwise clean record of Peachey over a 10-year career and prematurely ended his season.
Cronulla has only two matches left - against Souths at Aussie Stadium on Saturday before hosting the Bulldogs on September 6.
Anderson said he was "flabbergasted" the judiciary had questioned Peachey's integrity by finding him guilty of the grade three charge, which the Sharks tried to get downgraded to a grade one offence.
"I still cannot believe how they can come up with a verdict like that," said Anderson.
"They take a bloke who's done as much for rugby league as David Peachey and question his integrity. I thought it was very poor."
Anderson pointed to Hall's failure to cite any player involved in a wild brawl in a Brisbane-NZ Warriors match on Sunday as proof of the judiciary's double standards.
"I don't think it's done the judiciary any favours," he said.
"It shows up poorly by them, it shows up poorly for Jim Hall to be bringing this case in front of it (the judiciary) for what he did with the Brisbane/Warriors case.
"They said with the people last week, they got 10 minutes and that was sufficient.
"If a brawl is not worse than what David Peachey did, then I'm flabbergasted."
The panel of chairman Greg Woods, Mal Cochrane, Ian Roberts and Royce Ayliffe found that Peachey had defied the instructions of referee Shayne Hayne and touch judge Michael Jones on Saturday night against Parramatta.
Hayne gave Peachey his marching orders at Parramatta Stadium after the Sharks skipper had said to the referee "You're fucking kidding, that's shit" about Hayne's decision to sin bin him for arguing about his interpretation of the dominant tackle rule.
Peachey was less than two metres away from Jones when he walked off the field but insisted he did not hear the touch judge or Hayne calling him back to tell him he had been sent off.
The 29-year-old's legal representative Jim Barnett argued the crowd noise and teammate Phil Bailey talking to the former NSW fullback prevented Peachey from hearing the calls.
Anderson was asked after the 90 minute hearing whether captains were wasting their time by talking to the referee respectfully.
"It reinforces the fact that the referee can get away with anything," the Australian coach replied.
"It's not a good situation with semi-final football coming up.
"We're just playing into the referees pockets. They're just going to be bigger prima donnas now."
There was some consolation for the Sharks, who were successful in downgrading careless high tackle charges laid against teenager Reece Williams and Dale Newton.
Williams will escape punishment after his grade four charge was reduced to a grade two, incurring 93 demerit points. He had pleaded guilty.
Newton was found guilty but his charge was downgraded from grade three to one, resulting in a two-match ban and early Mad Monday celebrations.