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3 days ago
Cronulla coach Chris Anderson thought referee Shayne Hayne was rotten. Not surprisingly, Parramatta's Brian Smith thought he was great.
Hayne played a major role in Parramatta's record-breaking 74-4 National Rugby League win, sending off two Sharks players and sin-binning another.
After a long and unsuccessful season, frustrated Sharks captain David Peachey and forward Dale Newton were sent off while Danny Nutley was sin-binned as the spiteful Sharks were left with ten men at one stage.
Not surprisingly the Eels scored their biggest win of all time - and the Sharks suffered their worst loss.
Australian centre Jamie Lyons' five tries was also a club record for the Eels, whose slim finals hopes were kept alive by their drastically improved percentages.
Anderson described it all - the game, the refereeing, the ten metres, the send-off of Peachey, the scoreline, the unpunished high shots - as a "farce."
Sharks' centre Phil Bailey describe Hayne as "losing control of the whole game".
Peachey was marched in the 47th minute for back-chatting Hayne, who claimed the Sharks' captain had been "waving his arms" at him. Nutley was sin-binned in the next minute for more words at the referee, and then Newton let loose with a high tackle on Daniel Heckenberg.
Anderson said he'd instructed Peachey to approach Hayne early in the second half over concerns about Parramatta players surrendering in tackles, and a 7-2 penalty count deficit.
In the second half, the ten metres disappeared, the Eels were running in tries willy-nilly and high tackles that appeared as bad as Newton's went unpunished.
"In 30 years I haven't seen anything like it," said Anderson.
"I sent him (Peachey) out to register a complaint about the refereeing in the first half ... the diving in the tackles ...and the ref took exception to that.
"The NRL has come on really strong about diving in tackles, and that's what Parramatta did all game. I'm just glad we weren't fighting for two points to make the eight - that would have been diabolical.
"From my point of view that was a farce. It was over ten minutes into the second half. I'm not even cranky with it now. That's a laughable situation."
Bailey said the second half was bedlam, with players in danger of being seriously hurt because the ten metres was more like three metres.
"He (Hayne) wouldn't have a bar of anyone, wouldn't speak to anyone," said Bailey.
"When he sent Peach off he lost control of the whole game.
"The ten metres was three metres and guys were getting hurt - when the referee loses control those types of things happen."
The Eels, who needed a huge win to stay in the finals equation, depending on other results, ran in 14 tries.
Peachey, whose loss of patience was evident late in the first half when he threw a flurry of punches at the head of Eels' forward Darren Treacy, questioned Hayne early in the second stanza until the whistle blower had heard enough.
Hayne initially sin-binned Peachey - then sent him off.
The Eels' previous biggest victory was a 62-0 thrashing of North Queensland in 2001, while Cronulla's previous biggest loss was 52-8 to Newcastle last season.
Smith said: "Shayne Hayne has shown himself to be very strong. Personally, I admire him for that. Shayne Hayne is not one to be taken on in a head-high collision because usually you come off second best."