Jack Hetherington has been sin-binned again for another slapping offence after an incident with Tigers five-eighth Will Smith.
The Knights prop took exception to a high tackle from Smith in the 42nd minute and proceeded to slap him, before being sin-binned as his side went on to win 34-18.
Hetherington was sin-binned for the same offence on Izack Tago last month.
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Knights legend Andrew Johns described it as “poor discipline”, while Brad Fittler was critical of Hetherington, too.
“That’s why he’s been to a few clubs, a bit hot under the collar,” the NSW Blues coach said on the Nine broadcast.
While the Newcastle prop was likely to be punished, Johns was surprised at the severity.
”They can’t bin him … I will somersault home, all the way home, if he gets binned for that,” he said on Nine’s coverage.
Fittler was less surprised.
“He shouldn’t have done it, he knows you can’t do it,” he said.
Post-game, Paul Gallen described Hetherington as “frustrating”.
“The fact is everyone knows you get sent for 10 these days, I remember when I was playing four or five years ago, if you open-hand slap anyone, it’s like a punch, you get sent to the sin bin,” Gallen said on the Nine broadcast.
“This guy, he’s a good player, I think he’s a really good player. He’s athletic, big, strong bloke, but so frustrating, he does some dumb things.
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“If you want to punch blokes in the head go down to the local gym and spar someone during the week and get the frustration out of your system.”
Newcastle carved up the Tigers’ right edge early with Greg Marzhew and Bradman Best going over in the opening six minutes.
Knights slice up Tigers easily
The Knights then went the other side moments later with Dominic Young scoring, however Kalyn Ponga’s radar was way off with the kicking tee, missing all three attempts.
As the Tigers looked like they’d be dominated, Jahream Bula got his side back in the game, palming off Best to make it 18-6 after 30 minutes.
Right on half-time, the Tigers put themselves only six points behind when Apisai Koroisau pounced on mistakes from Ponga and Tyson Gamble, who juggled a grubber from Brandon Wakeham.
Knights’ juggling act proves costly
Straight after half-time, Hetherington put his side in trouble when he was given his marching orders.
The Knights didn’t seem too bothered, though, with Ponga going over moments later.
Bula grabbed his second after an Isaiah Papali’i linebreak with Hetherington still off the field to make it 22-16.
From there, though, the Knights lifted a gear with Young scoring his second, while Gamble finished it off in the 73rd minute to seal a 34-18 victory.
The Tigers will play the Dragons at Wollongong next Thursday, while Newcastle will face the Storm next weekend.
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