NSWRL chief not happy with Blues media ban
NSW Rugby League chief executive Geoff Carr has ordered Blues coach Ricky Stuart to lift the media ban he imposed on his players following Wednesday’s controversial State of Origin defeat by Queensland.
Stuart was fuming following the decision to award a try to Greg Inglis late in the game as his side went down 18-10 in Melbourne, one of several calls the Blues believe went against them.
And to vent his disgust, Stuart snubbed the media and ordered his players to do the same until the team is announced for the June 13 clash in Sydney in just over two weeks’ time.
At a meeting with his coach on Friday, Carr told Stuart to lift the ban but also accepted his initial decision to stay silent.
“I said to him after the game when he was raw and emotional that sometimes you are better not saying anything at all rather than something you’ll regret,” Carr told AAP.
“Ricky then told me he’d counselled the players not to speak.
“But time has elapsed now and things have settled down and Ricky said he would get team management to notify the players that they are free to talk about Origin if they wish.”
Carr said he did not order Stuart to gag his players, but in light of the former Kangaroos coach’s meltdown following defeat in the World Cup final by New Zealand in 2008, felt it was a wise move.
Stuart was forced to resign after an angry confrontation with referees Ashley Klein and Steve Ganson in a Brisbane hotel lobby 24 hours after the shock defeat by the Kiwis.
“My advice always after football games is, if you’re upset about things, then don’t say anything,” Carr said.
“The best example of that was the 2008 World Cup which I know Ricky really regrets. But that’s what can happen.”
Referees chief Bill Harrigan defended the decision by video referee Sean Hampstead to award Inglis the try despite having the ball knocked from his grasp by the leg of NSW hooker Robbie Farah.
The ball bounced off Inglis’s forearm before he touched down but Harrigan said there was no infringement.
Carr maintains the call was incorrect.
“It was a no try. It was a knock-on and every referee that I have spoken to has told me that,” Carr said.
“It went forward off the upper hand, it couldn’t have been anything else.
“Had it been anywhere else on the field it would have been a scrum.
“It was a real contest. But with a bit of luck it would have gone our way, and you need a bit of luck when you are playing a great team like Queensland.”
However, former NSW star Nathan Hindmarsh, a 17-match Origin veteran, said he felt Hampstead’s decision was correct.
“I could see it was a try,” said the Parramatta captain.
“If I was the video ref I would have awarded it as well.
“But it’s been a good talking point for the weekend so it must have been a good game.”© AAP 2013