Lima accused of targeting Manly’s Watmough

Manly coach Geoff Toovey believes South Sydney prop Jeff Lima might have targeted Anthony Watmough’s injured knee during his side’s 22-10 loss on Friday in Gosford.


Lima was placed on report for twisting Watmough’s right leg early in the first half, an incident that left Toovey fuming and putting the NSW back-rower in doubt for next week’s clash with Canberra, despite coming through the whole 80 minutes.

Watmough was a late inclusion in the Manly side after recovering from a strained posterior cruciate ligament sustained last week against the Warriors.

In an absorbing and action-packed encounter at Bluetongue Stadium in front of a record 20,060 crowd, Souths ended a run of two successive defeats and ended Manly’s six-game winning streak thanks largely to some gritty defence from Michael Maguire’s side.

But Toovey could find himself slapped with a fine from the NRL after unloading on referees Shayne Hayne and Henry Perenara in an astonishing post-game rant.

“I just think today, the officials decided the outcome of the game – not the two teams on the field,” Toovey said.

“I’m not talking about other players but obviously everyone knew Anthony Watmough’s knee was injured coming into the game and now it looks like we may miss him because of that.

“I don’t know if he was targeted or not but it’s suspicious.”

Toovey was also angry at the decision not to award a try to Steve Matai after the New Zealand centre was adjudged to have been held up after his momentum took him over the line.

“Unless I’m blind, I saw the ball on the ground so what’s the decision?” he said.

“Can someone answer me that? He (video ref) said ‘held up’ but the ball’s on the ground. How can that be held up?

“There’s got to be an investigation into this; someone’s got to be accountable for this.

“Aren’t we meant to have the best referees for this game? Are they the best referees we’ve got?”

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