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4 days ago
New Zealand coach Daniel Anderson claimed Cronulla players feigning injuries had cost Ali Lauiti'iti his place in the Kiwi side for Friday night's test against Australia.
Lauiti'iti was suspended for one match by the NRL judiciary on Tuesday night for a careless high tackle during the Warriors' 31-24 win over the Sharks on Saturday night.
The Kiwi back rower was placed on report for two incidents in that match, involving Sharks fullback David Peachey and back rower Paul Gallen, and was outed on the second offence.
"You just have to stay down injured and the video referee has to put it on report," Anderson said on Thursday night.
"Guys get reported because blokes stay down when you have to question the seriousness of the injuries.
"Ali's charge has put him out of the test. (Gallen) said to him at the next scrum that there was nothing in it.
Anderson is not the first coach this season to question players going on report or penalties being awarded when opposition players stay down.
Parramatta coach Brian Smith, Anderson's former boss at the Eels, claimed Canberra captain Simon Woolford stayed down during a game earlier this season which led to his side conceding a penalty.
Smith later expressed his concerns about players taking dives to ensure the video referee reviewed tackles.
However, Cronulla general manager Steve Rogers reacted angrily to Anderson's claims.
"Our blokes didn't stay down," Rogers said.
"Tell Daniel Anderson to get his facts right and Ali Lauiti'iti to work on his tackling technique."
However, Rogers conceded there was little in the tackle that led to Lauiti'iti's suspension.
"I didn't think there was much in it," he said.
"I stated that I'd hate to see him miss a test as a result of a tackle like that."
Warriors winger Francis Meli was also placed on report in Saturday night's match for a tackle on Cronulla forward Danny Nutley.
However, he was not charged by the judiciary.
Anderson praised Nutley for quickly regaining his feet but was angry over another incident involving Jerry Seuseu and Cronulla winger Laloa Milford in the game.
"What do I do, tell my players to stay down?" Anderson said.
"I won't be doing that. No blokes have done this all year from my team and three blokes from Cronulla do it in one game.
"That's the upsetting thing."
Meanwhile, the NRL Board acknowledged the need for greater deterrents against spear tackles.
The board said judiciary commissioner Jim Hall should bear in mind the need to increase the deterrent against such actions, but warned against over-reacting against every 'suspect' tackle.
"What is being implemented is a measured response," chief executive David Gallop said.
"The commissioner has rightly been vigilant in this area and will continue to issue grade one charges where appropriate.
"However where the conduct is considered to be more serious, the board is suggesting that the commissioner employ higher gradings than precedent may suggest.
"The board believes the new directive is the result of a need to raise awareness among players on this issue."