Macksville five-eighth Jake Simpson and Rebels' Aaron Taylor get involved in a melee during the Group 2 first grade clash between the South Grafton Rebels and Macksville Sea Eagles at McKittrick Park.
Macksville five-eighth Jake Simpson and Rebels' Aaron Taylor get involved in a melee during the Group 2 first grade clash between the South Grafton Rebels and Macksville Sea Eagles at McKittrick Park. Matthew Elkerton

50-50 DECISION: Should Aaron Taylor have been sin-binned?

RUGBY LEAGUE: South Grafton Rebels coach Ron Gordon was left frustrated and confused after a couple of close decisions went against the side in their 34-18 shock loss to Macksville Sea Eagles.

A match-defining moment in the first half of the Group 2 round six clash at McKittrick Park saw the Rebels disallowed a try, and centre Aaron Taylor marched to the sin bin, after a scuffle with Macksville five-eighth Jake Simpson.

But images show it was in-fact the Sea Eagles player who landed several blows with a closed fist, but he was allowed to stay on the field.

Gordon said he was disappointed in the referee and touch judges for making what he deemed was an "unfair decision".

 

The three frames that show Macksville Sea Eagles player Jake Simpson land punches on South Grafton Rebels Aaron Taylor. Taylor was sin binned for the incident.
The three frames that show Macksville Sea Eagles player Jake Simpson land punches on South Grafton Rebels Aaron Taylor. Taylor was sin binned for the incident. Matthew Elkerton

"In that moment not only did we miss out on the easy six points which would have put us ahead on the scoreboard, but then we lose the man in the defensive line," Gordon said.

"They kicked away to run in two tries in the time when AT was off the field. They exploited that extra man overlap, and they should not have had it at all.

"There were a lot of tough decisions, the 50-50s just seem like they never go our way."

 

Macksville five-eighth Jake Simpson and Rebels' Aaron Taylor get involved in a melee during the Group 2 first grade clash between the South Grafton Rebels and Macksville Sea Eagles at McKittrick Park.
BEHIND THE PLAY: Rebels second-rower Josh Harris runs through to celebrate after Jeff Skeen scored a barge over try. The try was disallowed after the referees blew a penalty for Macksville and sin-binned centre Aaron Taylor for this melee. Matthew Elkerton

Simpson was one of the players to score while Taylor was off the field, as Macksville stretched their lead out to 16-6 halftime lead.

It was not the only time Gordon was in hot water with the referees during the high-tension clash, with the coach being ejected from the bench midway through the second half.

Gordon had been cited by one of the touch judges for hurling abuse at centre official Faron Nelson, after a series of penalties were not blown against the Macksville side.

It is the second time in two home games the Rebels have been left to fight the final moments of the game without their coach on the sidelines, after he was thrown out by the same touch judge a fortnight ago.

The South Grafton Rebels coach said it was just a matter of his frustrations boiling over.

 

Macksville's Ben Cockbain was best on ground as he controlled the middle thrid of the field during the Group 2 first grade clash between the South Grafton Rebels and Macksville Sea Eagles at McKittrick Park.
Macksville's Ben Cockbain was best on ground as he controlled the middle thrid of the field during the Group 2 first grade clash between the South Grafton Rebels and Macksville Sea Eagles at McKittrick Park. Matthew Elkerton

"I have got a big mouth, I will admit that. But at the end of the day, people are frustrated," Gordon said.

"It happened on four occasions where he penalised our boys for laying in the tackle on fifth tackle. Then the first three tackles in the next set after we defended our line and were getting out of trouble, you could have penalised every single one of those for the same thing.

"(Nelson) just kept letting them get away with it, and it just got to the point where I had just had a gutful. There is two different levels of refereeing, one for South Grafton and one for everyone else.

"My emotions did get the better, but at the end of the day I just yelled out to Faron to "make the call", I wasn't yelling anything abusive towards him."

Group 2 referees association preisdent Ray Pettit said the association could not comment on the incidents in the game as Gordon had been cited to the judiciary.

"As far as we are concerned a decision has been made and that is where it stands at this point in time," Pettit said.