Roosters’ title hopes swinging on the blast of a referee’s whistle

Tim Prentice Columnist

By Tim Prentice, Tim Prentice is a Roar Expert

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    The Roosters are crowing at the prospect of winning their first minor premiership since 2004 but it could all end in tears unless coach Trent Robinson can instil some discipline in his players.

    And he will need to do it with a sense of urgency.

    Far too many opportunities are being handed out to opponents thanks to a steady flow of penalties against the men in red, white and blue.

    Many of these penalties are frivolous – laying on the tackled player, hand on the ball, offside – but others are for over-exuberance in defence, and others for plain old grubby or illegal play.

    All teams sin in the eyes of the whistle-blowers but none more than the competition favourites.

    So far in the 22 premiership games, Robinson’s men have been penalised on 179 occasions, averaging a tick over eight free rides to the opposition per game.

    Robinson and the players have been quizzed by media people who are told, time and again, the Roosters’ camp is ‘concerned’ about the trend and that ‘something must be sorted out’ with the match officials.

    But nothing ever happens.

    Last Monday’s game against the struggling Tigers produced an 11-7 penalty count against the Roosters.

    Fair enough, the competition leaders were always going to run up a huge score with their superior attack but if they think they can give the likes of Melbourne, Souths or Manly that many leg-ups in the finals, they should think again.

    These teams have a habit of scoring points in the sets that follow penalties.

    They will eagerly accept any gratuities from the Roosters who could ruin their great season because they are seriously lacking in the discipline department.

    Stats show there are a number of serial offenders in the Rooster line-up.

    Halves James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce, hooker Jake Friend and winger Shaun Kenny Dowall have given away penalties repeatedly and nothing seems to be happening, as the team keeps scoring tries and keeps on winning.

    It will be no use blaming the refs if Easts go crashing out of the competition with straight sets finals losses.

    To me, there seems to be a blatant problem here with indiscipline.

    If not, then it must be a veiled form of cheating the system by mauling the opposition in a bid to slow down their play and stifle their momentum.

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    The Crowd Says (59)

    • August 21st 2013 @ 7:12am
      oikee said | August 21st 2013 @ 7:12am | ! Report

      I have thought about this, you know what i think? I think the refs are boring and pedantric. They dont mix things up, they look for the same penalties every game, hand on the ball, hand on the ball, whistle blows we all get frustrated.
      Hold down in the tackle for two millionths of a second, the whistle blows.
      Instead of mixing it up and penalising for other indiscrections, the players look for the same penalties every game because they know the refs are robots.
      Look, to prove my point, the refs are always going to the video refs, they cant even take a pee without having the video ref have a look.
      But the other day i seen something different, and i really enjoyed this game. The refs awarded tries without going to the video ref.
      WOW.
      This game was great, and i am not asking for this to happen all the time, but every now and again mix it up, dont do what the players or fans expect you to do, because every game now i am yelling out penalty, penalty, every time a team receives the ball inside there 20 metres you can feel the penalty coming, and the refs never let me down.

      So instead of the refs always blowing the whistle for the same offence, maybe they look at turtle tackles, or twisters as in 3 players twisting a player 180 degree’s, or hands left in the ruck, or anything else that needs cracking down on. The players know what the refs are going to do, that makes it easy for coaches to try new wrestling or holding down tactics. By the time the refs wake up it is already a major problem.

      So what i am saying is the refs are robots. We need a refferee boss who can identify this, and until the game finds someone who can keep on top of new tactics, this code will just keep going through 3 year processes and fans will continue to walk away or stay frustrated.

    • August 21st 2013 @ 7:32am
      Wozza said | August 21st 2013 @ 7:32am | ! Report

      Gotta agree with oikee on this one …half the time it really is hard to tell what the player is getting pinged for ….
      If their having a sleep over and using another player as a mattress that’s one thing ,but the refs slow the game down all day by blowing the whistle more times than an Indian train driver in peak hour …
      They’ll be allocating 80 minutes a half before long …40 game time and 40 for replays….

    • August 21st 2013 @ 7:36am
      Jay C said | August 21st 2013 @ 7:36am | ! Report

      Firstly who cares. The Roosters do not deserve to win this premiership as they have just bought a team which I am 100 percent positive we will find out next year has broken the cap. if the roosters win it will be a blight on the game. It will show that you can just buy premierships and that is not what it should be about. I hope they get Manly first up and the Storm the next week so we can rid ourselves of their latte sipping, french perm getting, part time working at the Rozelle Fudge Company in the packing department, giant douches. Lets have the Bunnies and Melbourne, Manly, Bulldogs or Broncos in the final.

      • August 21st 2013 @ 10:55am
        Druitt Soldier said | August 21st 2013 @ 10:55am | ! Report

        I take it you’re a bunnies fan then?

        • August 21st 2013 @ 7:53pm
          Bunny Lord said | August 21st 2013 @ 7:53pm | ! Report

          What’s wrong with that? (I happen to be a passionate Rabbitohs fan also)

      • August 21st 2013 @ 1:34pm
        BlakeW said | August 21st 2013 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

        Is Benny Elias behind the Rozelle Fudge Company?

        • August 21st 2013 @ 3:10pm
          OldManEmu said | August 21st 2013 @ 3:10pm | ! Report

          Jay C – it is tempting to ignore your post but it contains such a massive misrepresentation that it cannot go left uncontested. The Roosters have not bought a premiership. They recruited extremely well and there is a difference. I think you will find SBW is not on big money and that the Panthers arepaying part of Jennings’ salary. Maloney probably is on good coin and their other two recruits O’Donnell and Moa would be playing for, relatively speaking, beer money. The fact is the Roosters have built a team, having off loaded non performers and troublemakers – read Anasta and Masoe in the former category and Myles and Leluia in the latter. Minichello, Kenny-Dowell, Pearce, Aubusson, Hargreaves, Friend, Nu’uausala and Kennedy are all there from the 2010 Grand Final.

          Hardly a bought Premiership and more like a really well coached, hard working team with very good halves, an aggresive pipe hitting pack and two genuine attacking stars in Jennings and SBW.

          • August 21st 2013 @ 3:13pm
            Druitt Soldier said | August 21st 2013 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

            +1 Well put. I tried hard to leave it alone too but hes spoken without really thinking about what hes said

          • August 22nd 2013 @ 11:34am
            Realist said | August 22nd 2013 @ 11:34am | ! Report

            ++1 anyone who thinks the roosters are over the cap usually support another club jealous of our recruitment….

      • August 22nd 2013 @ 7:28am
        Wozza said | August 22nd 2013 @ 7:28am | ! Report

        Haven’t the storm ,bulldogs and the Broncos all been done for cap breaches ????
        Here we go here we go here we goooooo…..bring on the mighty roosters and Jay C can post all the sooky roosters hate he likes after we win the gf and are deemed to be under the cap…..

    • August 21st 2013 @ 7:57am
      Hardwick said | August 21st 2013 @ 7:57am | ! Report

      You can’t have the refs changing their focus each week or we’d see even more complaining from the punters.

      As for Easts, it’s amazing how clinical they are near the opposition try line. Imagine what they could do if they did improve the discipline.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download The Roar’s iPhone App in the App Store here.

    • August 21st 2013 @ 8:31am
      Johnno said | August 21st 2013 @ 8:31am | ! Report

      if roosters can get penalty count down, they will win the comp.

      • August 21st 2013 @ 8:55am
        Clark said | August 21st 2013 @ 8:55am | ! Report

        Don’t think they can break that habit to be honest. They have been the less disciplined side for about the last 2-3 years

        • August 21st 2013 @ 12:05pm
          Kebab said | August 21st 2013 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

          Yeah Johnno Year of the Chooks. The bunnies will o back into their rabbit hole

        • August 21st 2013 @ 4:09pm
          DMW said | August 21st 2013 @ 4:09pm | ! Report

          The Roosters are finding it difficult to get their opposition to infringe on av more than 3 times in a half.
          They clearly need to address this habit with their players yes…

          • August 21st 2013 @ 4:56pm
            DMW said | August 21st 2013 @ 4:56pm | ! Report

            As the most penalised (therefore the most ill-disciplined side in the NRL), the Roosters should make a concerted effort on conceding 1 less penalty per match, (which over the 23 rds brings them back to the field).

            Only a lunatic club would concern themselves with their oppositions angelic behaviour, who somehow only concede a penalty on av every 13mins and 20 secs.

      • August 21st 2013 @ 4:14pm
        Renegade said | August 21st 2013 @ 4:14pm | ! Report

        They need to sort out their discipline…Luke O’Donnell on monday night is a perfect example.

    • August 21st 2013 @ 8:36am
      maximillian said | August 21st 2013 @ 8:36am | ! Report

      Despite giving away the most penalties the Roosters still have the best defence in the comp. I think they now understand its better to give away a penalty & allow their defensive line to reset, than to allow the opposition any momentum on attack. Melbourne are also doing similar things with Cronk taking out Boyd on the weekend. These sides are getting away with it because they trust their defensive structures & are happy to give away multiple penalties to keep their line intact. Id like to see the refs take a harder line approach & sinbin players for multiple offences as this is the only way to stop this negative tactic IMO.

      • August 21st 2013 @ 9:23am
        Mals said | August 21st 2013 @ 9:23am | ! Report

        Well said. It is the timing of the penalties that counts. Penalties deliberately conceded when the team is back peddling & the defense is not set often aren’t damaging to the score line.

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