The NRL have come down hard on Des Hasler after the Sea Eagles coach’s comments towards the officiating of last week’s loss to the Eels.

Manly have been issued a breach notice carrying a fine of $25,000 after Hasler suggested the Eels were “legged back into the game” in the post-match press conference, referring to the 9-2 penalty count against his side following the controversial 22-20 loss to Parramatta.

Hasler then doubled down during the week when he questioned the way his side are among the most penalised in the NRL.

While prop Josh Aloiai also had a dig at the referee from Sunday’s loss Ben Cummins, saying he’d done the Sea Eagles “no favours” and did “a bad job” with his officiating late in the game.

The NRL took the comments made by Hasler and Aloiai into account when they slapped the Sea Eagles with a big fine on Friday.

CEO Andrew Abdo said the criticism particularly from Hasler was unacceptable, given his standing in the game.

“The comments by a coach of Des’s standing were disappointing,” Abdo said.

“Particularly disappointing was the sustained criticism of Match Officials over the course of the week.

“We look to those in leadership positions in the game to set an example. We understand that passions run high, but that is simply no excuse to make comments which question the integrity and competence of our officials.

“Public criticism of this nature makes it harder to recruit and retain match officials at all levels of the game.

“To see not only a coach, but a player, criticise officials to this extent is not the level of professionalism we expect in Rugby League.”

Manly have five days to respond to the breach notice.

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