Cleary will be spoken to by the NRL. Photo: AAP Image/Joel Carrett
Cleary will be spoken to by the NRL. Photo: AAP Image/Joel Carrett

Revealed: Ivan Cleary’s expletive-laden referee outburst

Penrith coach Ivan Cleary is facing accusations he swore at NRL referee Ashley Klein in a heated half-time blow-up in the tunnel at Panthers Stadium on Sunday.

News Corp understands Fox Sports commentator Andy Raymond has submitted a report to the NRL, indicating he heard Cleary drop the f-bomb.

The NRL approached Fox Sports on Monday for a statement as part of its inquiry into the incident.

A bystander said the exchange was loud and assertive.

"Ashley they're f … ing lying all over us," Cleary is believed to have said.

"You can't let them.

"You've got to stop them."

Live stream the 2019 NRL Telstra Premiership on KAYO SPORTS. Every game of every round live & anytime on your TV or favourite device. Get your 14 day free trial >

Ivan Cleary was overheard losing his cool. Photo: Brett Costello
Ivan Cleary was overheard losing his cool. Photo: Brett Costello

 

Cleary's confrontation with Klein came after the referee had a running battle with Panthers five-eighth James Maloney, who was upset at the slowdown tactics of the Canberra Raiders in their 30-18 defeat.

At one point, Klein can be heard telling an agitated Maloney "you're being very confrontational".

 

Referee Ashley Klein has words with James Maloney. Photo: Brett Costello
Referee Ashley Klein has words with James Maloney. Photo: Brett Costello

 

Trailing 12-6 as the half-time siren sounded, Maloney attempted to continue the discussions with Klein, but was ordered away as he instead spoke with Penrith captain James Tamou.

Klein warned that Maloney, who was acting captain when Tamou was off, would be sin-binned if he questioned another refereeing decision.

Moments later Cleary met Klein in the tunnel and delivered his spray.

 

Cleary will be spoken to by the NRL. Photo: AAP Image/Joel Carrett
Cleary will be spoken to by the NRL. Photo: AAP Image/Joel Carrett

 

"We are seeking more information about that," NRL head of football Graham Annesley said on Monday.

"There seems to have been a fair amount of discussion with the players in the tunnel with the referees. We're trying to get to the extent that Ivan interacted, pointing out that he did interact to a degree, before we decide what action if any is required.

"Approaching officials at halftime is not permitted, the referees are there to do their job, the coach is there to do theirs and they should go their separate ways at halftime."

An NRL spokesman confirmed the league was still reviewing the circumstances.

"We are undertaking a review of the matter," the spokesman said. "There was a significant amount of conjecture about the circumstances, and it requires further information to be gathered."

News Corp Australia

How to benefit from Building Better Regions Fund

premium_icon How to benefit from Building Better Regions Fund

Llew O’Brien has urged Wide Bay’s drought-affected communities to act fast to...

MAP: Must-see Christmas lights in the South Burnett

premium_icon MAP: Must-see Christmas lights in the South Burnett

From fairy lights to nativity scenes and reindeer in front yards, here is a list of...

St John’s celebrates their parents’ hard work

premium_icon St John’s celebrates their parents’ hard work

St John’s Lutheran School hosts a complimentary pop-up coffee shop to show their...