Samoan coach Matt Parish describes referee Ashley Klein as “weak” after the Rugby League World Cup final.

Samoan manager Matt Parish was furious with referee Ashley Klein after his team went down in the Rugby League World Cup final in Australia, and fans also took to social media to lash out at the match official.

The controversy was sparked by Angus Crichton’s high shot of Samoan hooker Chanel Harris-Tavita and Klein’s decision to send the Aussie backrower to Sinbin and not give him a red card.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Crichton went for a high shot during the RLWC Finals.

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Australia won the final at Old Trafford 30-10, but after the match Parish was boiling.

“Five minutes into the second half our hooker gets elbowed in the head and carted off, then the referee makes a poor decision and throws him in the bin…amazed,” Parish said.

Samoan coach Matt Parish at Old Trafford and (inset) a screenshot of Angus Crichton’s high hit against Chanel Harris-Tavita during the final. Recognition: Getty Images/Screenshot

“An elbow to the head and the hooker is knocked unconscious and removed from the game.”

Angry Samoan fans also took aim at Klein for not showing the Australian red.

However, Australia manager Mal Meninga told reporters after the game that Klein made the right decision.

“In my view, he should have stayed on the field,” Meninga said. “(Criticizing Klein) is just silly.”

Samoan skipper Junior Paulo defended Crichton, saying: “Knowing Angus Crichton and having played with him before, it’s probably not in his game so it is what it is.”

And Crichton announced that he apologized to Harris-Tavita (who is on an indefinite break from play) after the finals.

Angus Crichton celebrates after Australia beat Samoa in the Rugby League World Cup final at Old Trafford. Recognition: Getty Images

“I didn’t know he was coming and there was no malice at all. Send my blessings to his family,” Crichton said.

“It’s all love between me and Chanel. I spoke to him after the game and apologized. When I play football I try not to hurt anyone.

“I never want to see anyone get injured on a soccer field. We love rugby because of the nature of the sport, we don’t go out and try to hurt people.

“I just want everyone to know it was just a real reaction. I never go out on the field to try to hurt anyone.

“I’m a good person who plays the game the way it’s meant to be played.”

Parish said his team was decimated by injuries before the game.

“Except for 19 players. That’s all we had in the squad, guys playing out of position, guys playing full halves and it was so brave,” he said.

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https://7news.com.au/sport/rugby-league/samoan-coach-fans-erupt-over-weak-ref-as-kangaroo-apologises-for-high-hit-i-never-try-and-hurt-someone-c-8910745 Samoan coach Matt Parish describes referee Ashley Klein as “weak” after the Rugby League World Cup final.

James Brien

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