“It was 8-2 to be exact,” Hasler said.
“I just thought we tried to slow the ruck like they did; they did it really well slowing the ruck, but we did it and got penalised.
“You’ll have to ask [NRL head of football] Graham Annesley and the officials. I know Graham said the other day he hasn’t been too impressed with them.”
Bennett, however, could not believe Cade Cust was awarded a try in the first half without any consultation with the bunker to check a blatant Moses Suli knock-on in the lead-up.
The Souths supercoach, however, had no issues with Suli’s long-range try in the second half, despite the 13,434 Souths fans blowing up after there had been a hint of another knock-on.
Suli stopped briefly and appeared to give himself up before he pinned back his ears and raced away 80m to score.
“I didn’t think it was a try,” Bennett said.
“What fascinates me with all this stuff is when you’ve got that disputed ball on the ground, why not go up and have a look?
“I want them to make their own decisions, but at the same time there was so much doubt there. Just have a look at it. How will that impact on the game?
“I could have been sitting here with a different attitude altogether because of what happened. We can live with that, but we shouldn’t have to. That’s what the technology is there for.
“I don’t want them on every occasion going to the video ref, but with disputed possession like that, spend the one minute or whatever it takes to check it.”
Bennett said Suli’s try in the second half was deserved, but asked why on that occasion it was checked when ”it looked more of a try than the first one”.
Bennett will be happy the Rabbitohs’ month of losses is over as their campaign can start to crank back into gear.
They will welcome back Queensland’s shock Origin hero Ethan Lowe for the road trip to his old Townsville stomping ground next Saturday night.
“The first half is the way we wanted to play, and the second half is the way we’ve been playing the past month, which has put us where we are,” Bennett said.
“I’m pleased with the way we won. I’m pleased we showed ourselves what we can do. We need to do it for 80 minutes now.
“We needed a win. It didn’t matter how we did it, we just needed to win. That will do more for them than losing by one point.”
Two tries to Dane Gagai and Campbell Graham inside four minutes just before half-time gave Souths an 18-6 lead.
But Daly Cherry-Evans put Curtis Sironen over, then Suli posted his 80m try to get Manly back in the hunt.
The Sea Eagles offloaded more and hit with plenty of intent as a bit of niggle crept into the clash.
Daly Cherry-Evans’ grubber was collected by Joel Thompson to score and set up a thrilling final six minutes before Reynolds, as he always seems to do, showed wonderful composure to add the all-important one point.
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.