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4 days ago
St George Illawarra coach Nathan Brown is set to receive his second fine this year following comments made after the Dragons v Bulldogs match last Saturday.
NRL chief executive David Gallop today confirmed that Brown's comments would be investigated after the Dragons' controversial 18-16 loss to the Bulldogs at WIN Stadium.
Brown expressed his disappointment at a post-match press conference over a decision by touch judge Steve Nash, who ran on the field late in the first half to report captain Lance Thompson for a late tackle on Bulldogs five-eighth Johnathan Thurston.
Referee Paul Simpkins, who was only metres away, had already elected to let the matter slide but changed his mind following the opinion of the sideline touch judge.
Replays show that the Thompson simply stood his ground and following the penalty, the Dragons skipper protested the decision.
“You've got a bloke whose two metres away who lets it go and you've got a bloke whose 20 metres away who wants to make a decision. It makes me laugh. Who's running the game?” Thompson queried.
It proved a decisive turning point in the match, with the Bulldogs scoring from the next play.
Brown initially refused to answer questions regarding the incident but finally responded describing the decision as "f_ _ _ing disgraceful" before adding it was one of several "f_ _ _ing disgraceful" decisions in the match.
Referees boss Robert Finch today said he thought Nash had "got it wrong" and it was a "soft call".
But that's unlikely to stop the NRL issuing a fine to Brown.
"It was an unacceptable outburst," Gallop said.
"We have given coaches some latitude in recent times to allow some measured criticism but that doesn't make it open slather in particular where repeated expletives are used in a press conference.
"We will review the whole matter in the morning."
Last month, Brown was fined $5000 by the NRL after his well-documented sideline slap of captain Trent Barrett. Gallop indicating that Brown was 'sending the wrong message' and therefore bringing the game into disrepute.
Despite the impending fine, St George Illawarra chief executive Peter Doust today said the Dragons would stand by Brown, who he said was baited into the comments.
"I think it's fair to say Nathan was pretty well baited," Doust said.
"I think he's shown, as he's shown for a number of weeks, that he's not interested in bagging referees.
"But having been baited for a number of times he made a comment that he thought it was disgraceful, which we stand behind.
"I stand by him as far has him expressing his disappointment at the decision." Doust said.