A Canberra Raiders trainer has come under fire for manhandling two opposition players during his side’s loss to the Panthers.
The trainer, who has not been publicly identified by the club, became physically involved in a melee between the two teams late in Friday night’s game.
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The scuffle erupted after Charlie Staines crossed in the corner for Penrith’s fourth try of the night. In his celebrations, a fired-up Stephen Crichton grabbed Joseph Tapine as he waited on the sideline to re-enter the match. It didn’t go down well with the Raiders forward.
Footage shows the Canberra trainer watch the melee unfold, before placing a hand on the back of Panthers utility Tyrone May.
The trainer then seems to grab Penrith prop James Fisher-Harris in an apparent effort to remove him from the stoush. Fisher-Harris briefly speaks to the trainer, before Canberra playmaker Jack Wighton enters the fray and pushes the two apart.
The Sydney Morning Heraldreports that Penrith officials are less than pleased with the trainer’s actions, which contravene the NRL’s operations manual.
Section 8.8.2 of the manual states: “Under no circumstances are trainers permitted to approach or become involved in an altercation or melee involving players from either competing team.”
“This includes not attempting to separate or restrain players who may be attempting to become involved in the incident.”
For inciting the scuffle, Crichton has been fined $1,350 but will be free to play against the Broncos next week.
The NRL’s Head Of Football Graham Annesley told The Herald the incident would be reviewed as part of his weekly briefing on Monday.
With their 30-10 defeat of the Raiders, the Panthers cruised to their fifth straight win of the year.
It was the first 5-0 start to a season for the Panthers in their club’s history.