Jarryd Hayne has waved the yellow card at NRL referees, claiming his Eels are heavily scrutinised because they do not have as many big-name players as their rivals.
His comments came as his frustration with referees grew after Parramatta's 18-16 loss to Canterbury on Friday night.
The Eels had to wait until the 33rd minute to receive their first penalty having conceded four in the opening 15 minutes. Canterbury finished ahead in the penalty count 5-4.
"When you look at our game and you compare it to other games you're scratching your head and asking why we are getting penalised," Hayne said.
"The biggest thing is we don't have big-name players. You look at other clubs - Manly, Storm, Bulldogs, South Sydney. Why are they going well? Because they are wrestling in tackles.
"They are getting away with things that we wouldn't get away with. I don't know what it is - but because we don't have those big-name players we don't get treated like they would ... Because we don't have the big name players or superstars in our forward pack [does that mean] we can't dominate the tackles?"
That early defensive workload took its toll on Parramatta, who had the ball for just four of the opening 14 sets on Friday night. Canterbury raced in three tries within 29 minutes as they capitalised on their possession.
"Straight after the game I was speaking with [coach] Brad [Arthur] about the first four penalties," Hayne said.
"We [were] just left shaking our heads. There is no explanation from our point of view for what we did wrong. We are playing footy. We are getting in there and dominating the tackle and there was one time there that there was nothing in it. They [the refs] gave them a penalty for literally no reason.
"We don't have big-name players so we don't get any leniency in the ruck."
As the last round began the Eels were equal fourth for most penalties conceded in the NRL.
Hayne was particularly critical of two calls by referees Ben Cummins and Chris James: when Will Hopoate was forced in-goal despite Hayne believing his momentum had already been stopped, and a high-tackle penalty against hooker Isaac De Gois.
Hayne said he found it difficult to communicate with the on-field officials during play.
"I try and say my part on the field and half the time they don't want to talk about it," Hayne said.
"It's tough because when you see things like that, that are blatantly obvious that wasn't a penalty or we should've got a penalty you become frustrated. Your first reaction is to be upset. That's something I need to be better at.
"When you're in the heat of the battle it's tough. When things are going against you it's hard to communicate.
"It doesn't do much when you talk to them - they aren't going to turn the penalty around. Most of the time I just want an explanation or [want to know] what we can do better to work with the refs to accommodate what they are saying we are doing wrong."
Hayne also called on the NRL to go back to having just one referee controlling the game.
Meanwhile, centre Ryan Morgan said Arthur had addressed the team on Monday but had spoken little about their must-win match against Manly on Friday night.
"We briefly touched over it," Morgan said. "Everyone knows where we are sitting on the table. Every game is do or die for us."
- Sydney Morning Herald
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