Smith upset over NRL time-wasting
Sydney Roosters coach Brian Smith has blasted time-wasting late in matches as an “ugly” aspect of the NRL that needs cleaning up.
Smith was speaking after a spirited Roosters fightback fell short as the Warriors held on to win 30-26 in Auckland on Saturday night.
An Anthony Minichiello try with three minutes helped to close the gap to within a converted try, setting up a grandstand finish.
However, Smith was upset Minichiello was later not allow to play the ball after being dazed in a tackle and also over the time taken to set a scrum that ended with the Roosters being penalised.
While “angry” and “frustrated”, he was also proud of the resilience his players showed in fighting back after some “diabolical decisions” during the match.
He said there were “too many disappointing calls to mention”, but added that the way the game ran was encapsulated in the last two minutes.
“In the end, they did not even know that you should blow the whistle when the hooter goes,” he said of referees Steve Lyons and Henry Perenara.
Smith pointed to 15 seconds he counted as lost in setting the scrum, saying most referees would wait to call time-on until the ball was put in.
“There’s a whole untidiness about our game at the moment where teams are doing this sort of thing and lying down and not playing the ball and chewing the clock up,” he said.
“We would probably do the same thing, by the way. The encouragement is there with the way the refs are interpreting all that, instead of taking a strong stand about that and working it out.
“It was just ugly for the game. I’m not talking about us losing because of that. It’s not the way we want.
“The rugby union World Cup final finishes with it seems like half an hour of guys just diving at the ground and chewing up the clock.
“It was an obscene sort of way for the climax of a tournament to finish, an extravaganza like that was, and our game has got that a little bit in it as well at the moment. I wish we could fix that.”
Skipper Braith Anasta agreed there were “too many disappointing calls”.
He pointed to bench forward Boyd Cordner being put on a report after his shoulder was judged to have made contact with the head of Warriors fullback Jerome Ropati late in the first half.
Ropati went off with a dislocated knee suffered in the tackle and faces six to eight weeks on the sidelines.
Anasta said Cordner’s shoulder was “nowhere near the head”.
“He didn’t get carried off because he was concussed,” Anasta said.
“He got carried off because of his knee.”
Warriors coach Brian McClennan admitted there were aspects of the game “that had me scratching my head”.
But he said he didn’t want to say anything about the refereeing until he had seen the tape of the match.© AAP 2013
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