‘Complete garbage’ that NRL must stamp out

This notion of referees favoring the top teams has to stop because it’s complete garbage!

In recent weeks, I’ve been inundated with messages from frustrated rugby league fans who are complaining about their team not getting the “rub of the green”.

It’s not only the supporters making these noises; if you think back to the early rounds of the competition, several coaches were intimating the same thing, which questions the integrity of the match officials and gives the struggling mentors a chance to shift the blame off their under-performing football teams.

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Gold Coast’s Justin Holbrook shot from the hip after the loss to Parramatta in round one by suggesting his side wasn’t getting the 50-50 decisions because the Titans “aren’t one of the game’s big clubs”.

North Queensland’s Todd Payten agreed by saying “teams that have been up the pointy end of the competition for a while now, or have high-profile players, get the benefit of the doubt too often, and that’s frustrating”.

I find it interesting that the Cowboys coach hasn’t uttered a word since because they’re climbing up the ladder and it’s got nothing to do with 50-50 decisions, it’s a result of the football team improving and winning games.

NRL head of football Graham Annesley addressed the apparent controversy a few weeks ago by insisting “it’s just a growing noise in the background but when coaches are saying these things, they are respected people in our game and of course supporters are going to listen to that and take some notice of it”.

He’s right – why haven’t these coaches been fined or at least told to pull their heads in?

Annesley is a former decorated referee and is now the public voice of the referees who are unable to defend themselves from the criticism because they’ve been gagged from speaking to the media or explaining the reasons behind their decision making.

The head of football quashed any suggestion of an unconscious bias from referees by saying “the referees, when they make calls are just seeing something and reacting instantly … they simply respond to what they see.”

The same thing has been happening since 1908 so why are we now insinuating match officials deliberately set out to rule against some teams – please!

If you’re one of these people who’s fallen into the trap of believing this rubbish, I’d suggest you follow the lead of the players suffering a head-knock and get checked for a concussion — you’re living in la-la land if you think there’s any merit to this line of questioning.

I’ve heard some people point to the Daniel Tupou tackle on Mikaele Ravalawa on Anzac Day at the SCG as some sort of proof the referees favor the Roosters, however that was nothing more than a mistake which the NRL has since admitted to.

The high-tackle should have been punished on the field with the Roosters winger sent to the sin-bin, but the flyer finished the match and was later suspended by the match review committee.

The only question left for the league to answer about that particular incident was why Adam Gee was made the scapegoat and the video referee, Ashley Klein, who’s supposed to be assisting the on-field official, was back in the bunker and with a whistle in hand last weekend.

Who allowed that to pass muster?

Was it the general manager of elite officiating Jared Maxwell who hasn’t been sighted since he was handed the role?

I agree with my colleague Danny Weidler who wrote in the Sun Herald “remember the song ‘A Horse with No Name’ by America? Well, the NRL has its own version: Jared Maxwell.”

As I always say, without the referees we don’t have a game, so it’s important to defend the whistle-blowers when they’re being accused of something that just isn’t right.

It’s a thankless job and to suggest any of them are favoring the top teams is just fanciful.

I’ve spoken to several members of the refereeing ranks in recent weeks and they’ve made it clear to me that “the game has never been scrutinized more, so how is it possible for us to make decisions in favor of teams when we’ ve got a split second to make that call”.

Instead of pointing the finger at the refs, why don’t you start targeting the players who are dropping the ball, throwing forward passes and turning over possession during 80 minutes of rugby league.

The referees cop it enough in our game and some of the recent criticism should be redirected towards the clubs who are simply making up the numbers.

Let me know your thoughts by sending through an email to the WWOS Radio show by clicking on this link; https://form.jotform.co/70601482897867

Wide World of Sports Radio is heard from 6pm AEDT on 2GB 873am with Mark Levy and co-hosts Billy Slater (Monday), Paul Gallen (Tuesday) and Brad Fittler (Wednesday).

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#Complete #garbage #NRL #stamp

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