NRL probing Cleary approach to referee

Penrith coach Ivan Cleary. Photo: Megan Dunn
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The NRL has confirmed it is investigating an incident involving Penrith coach Ivan Cleary and referee Ashley Klein at half-time of yesterday’s clash between the Panthers and Raiders at Panthers Stadium.

It has been reported that Cleary had words with Klein in the tunnel at half-time, but that Klein did not hear what was said.

At the time it is understood Klein was conversing with Penrith captain James Tamou.

It is against NRL rules for a coach to approach a match official during a match.

“That’s not closed off yet, we’re still seeking some more information about that,” NRL Head of Football Elite Competitions Graham Annesley said of the incident.

“There seems to have been a fair amount of discussion going on in the tunnel as the players left the field with the referees.

“We haven’t put a line under that one yet.”

Mr Annesley said it had not been determined if a “serious breach” of the rules had occurred.

Graham Annesley addressing the media today

“We’re just trying to get to the bottom of exactly what happened,” he said.

“We want to get all of those facts before we decide what action if any is required.”

Cleary could face a breach notice if it is determined he broke the rules.

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