NRL 2020: NZ Warriors' Jazz Tevaga 'probably' shouldn't have been binned against Eels, says NRL

The NRL admits that NZ Warriors were victims of a crucial refereeing error during their loss to Parramatta Eels on Sunday.

In the first half, Warriors forward Jazz Tevaga was sent to the sin bin for what seemed a relatively innocuous scuffle with the Eel's Nathan Brown.

Tevaga was deemed to have struck out with a punch, as he grabbed at Brown's jersey to get to his feet to play the ball, and was promptly sent to the sidelines by referee Grant Atkin.

While they were short-handed, the Warriors conceded 12 points to the Eels in a match they ultimately lost 24-18.

Commentator Andrew Voss labelled it "worst sin-binning" of all time, while Warriors coach Todd Payten described Atkins' decision as "the wrong call".

NRL head of football Graham Annesley admits Tevaga shouldn't have been sin-binned, but he wants the players to take more responsibility for their actions.

"Do I think that that incident was serious enough to go to the sin bin?" says Annesley. "I think probably not, but I think it's only fair that everyone accepts their share of the responsibility.

"The players have a responsibility. If they want to win games and put themselves into contention, then they also have a responsibility not to place the officials in a position where they force them to make decisions that might negatively affect them."

In such situations, Annesley believes some of the blame must lie with the players.

"In a big game with a lot on the line, players have to play with some level of discipline," he says.

"The fact that Jazz has put himself in this position where the officials have to make a decision, that's been overlooked.

"We're having a debate over whether the officials got it right or wrong, but we're overlooking that they were forced into this situation."

Sunday's loss drops the Warriors to 10th on the NRL ladder with three rounds remaining and facing a steep climb to secure a playoffs berth.

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