Sharks, Eagles handed NRL breach notices over ref rants
The NRL has issued breach notices to Cronulla Sharks and Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles following disparaging comments made about officials by coaches Shane Flanagan and Trent Barrett.
Sharks boss Flanagan read out a list of grievances at a post-match news conference following a controversial 15-14 extra-time defeat to North Queensland Cowboys that ended their NRL defence in week one of the finals.
Flanagan later continued his tirade in an interview with the club's official website and the NRL has proposed a fine of 30,000 Australian dollars.
Barrett disputed the decision to award a contentious late try to Tyrone Peachey as the Sea Eagles went down 22-10 to Penrith Panthers at Allianz Stadium.
A fine of 20,000 AUD has been recommended by the NRL.
The Sharks and Sea Eagles released separate statements saying they will review the breach notices before deciding on their next course of action.
A statement from NRL head of football Brian Canavan read: "In relation to the Sharks, there were separate breaches in the media conference following the game, in a separate interview with the coach which was sent to members and in an article published on the club's website.
"That is why the proposed penalty is higher than we have generally issued in the past."
He added: "Our message is clear - no matter the significance of the match or the specific circumstances, coaches cannot cross the line.
"The integrity of our match officials and the game needs to be protected."
The two teams have five business days to respond to the notice.