Nathan Cleary has escaped suspension for what St George Illawarra coach Anthony Griffin deemed was a shoulder charge, leaving the Dragons mentor seething.
The superstar Penrith halfback celebrated a 34-16 win on Friday night in his first match back since suffering a shoulder injury in late June during State of Origin.
Cleary was expected to come under scrutiny from the NRL's match review committee for his shot on Dragons fullback Jack Bird, but only faces a fine for a late hit on teenager Talatau Amone in the 61st minute.
Post match, Dragons coach Griffin questioned how the “clear-cut shoulder charge” went unpunished with Cleary not even put on report.
The second-half hit led to a Matt Burton try that effectively killed the contest.
“There were a couple of dodgy calls there, particularly Cleary's shoulder charge on Jack Bird,” Griffin said.
“How that gets awarded a try I don't know.
“That was a clear-cut shoulder charge, the one they brought the rule in for where you don't use your arms.
“That is try-scoring vision they (the bunker) had to go back and watch.
“I don't know how they cleared that, it was a massive play.
“We played a high intensity game but with intercepts and calls like that it makes it hard.”
Cleary was satisfied with his performance and confident he'd have nothing to worry about after being told on-field his tackle had been cleared.
“I definitely didn't try and shoulder charge him; I saw him kind of pick me out from the kick chase and knew that I was going to have to put my body on the line,” Cleary said.
“There was someone next to me, so I tried to lift my arm but I couldn't really get it all the way across.”
In other charges from Friday night's NRL games, Sydney Roosters lock Victor Radley (dangerous contact) is facing a possible four-week ban while Brisbane five-eighth Tyson Gamble (crusher tackle) may also be rubbed out for up to three games.
Penrith playmaker Jarome Luai (careless high tackle), Dragons halfback Adam Clune (dangerous contact) and Broncos winger David Mead (careless high tackle) are all facing fines.Internet Explorer Channel Network