Stop your moaning Manly, you got exactly what you deserved

Tim Gore Columnist

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    “What do you say? I’ve never seen anything like it. Ever.” Manly coach Trent Barrett was clearly livid after his side’s loss to Penrith.

    Barrett’s ire in the post-match press conference was firmly directed at the match officials.

    “We played in circumstances where we couldn’t win when some of the things that went against us.”

    Here’s the problem with that Trent: your team’s game style, coming up against the Panthers, and coupled with the officials in charge and the players you were missing, should have indicated that what occurred was a definite possibility. In fact, it was pretty much a likelihood.

    The stats – which you should be constantly studying closely – tell you so. To blame your side’s loss on the officiating – possibly even suggesting bias – is pretty poor form.

    What Manly wandered into was a perfect storm of factors that meant victory was highly unlikely unless everything went right. Or unless they changed their usual modus operandi.

    Let’s look at why.

    Penalties conceded
    As pointed out last week, the Sea Eagles are one of the most penalised sides in the NRL this year. Mostly that’s not a bad thing. In fact, in this era of bin-shy referees it is a very good strategy.

    The high concession of penalties is actually an indication of a red zone defensive strategy to defend your line. The time taken through the awarding of penalties – usually for such things as offside, holding the tackled player down, hands on the ball – allow your defensive line to reset.

    If your side’s defence is good the chances are much better that your side will hold out the attacks. Don’t believe me? Have a look at this:

    Average penalties conceded Rank Average tries conceded Rank
    Storm 7.4 1st 2.7 15th
    Manly 7.2 2nd 2.9 14th

    Never mind arguments about what the referees should do, or what the rules say, or the spirit of the game. That’s irrelevant. That’s how the game is clearly allowed to run. If you don’t utilise this strategy it is harder to win.

    However, this means that the Sea Eagles – the coach, players and fans – must accept that they play a style of game that concedes lots of penalties. As stated above, this strategy relies on your side’s defence being good. Your tacklers better be up to the job. That brings us to the second factor.

    Who was missing?
    Jake Trbojevic was in State of Origin camp for NSW. This was a huge factor in the Sea Eagles’ loss. Trbojevic senior is the keystone of the Sea Eagles defence. He averages 37 tackles a game and misses just 1.2. That’s a miserly and remarkably good 3.2 per cent missed tackle ratio.

    His replacement was Darcy Lussick, who this season averages 13 tackles a match with 3.2 misses – a 24.6 per cent missed tackle ratio. Lussick missed five tackles against the Panthers and had a missed tackle ratio of 31.25 per cent.

    Further, Curtis Sironen was also out injured. This meant that the defensive line was distinctly different and that’s a definite challenge for a side that is going to give away lots of penalties. This is something that Barrett must surely have known when he sent his boys out to play their high penalty conceding style of play.

    Penalties awarded
    This is then compounded again by the Panthers being the number one-ranked side in the NRL for being awarded penalties at the home ground. The Panthers crowd sure knows how to get in the referee’s ear because the Mountain Men average nine penalties received when they play at Pepper Stadium.

    This factor – mixed with the Sea Eagles’ usual proclivity for giving away penalties – means that it is basic logic that the penalty count against Manly would probably be higher than usual, and possibly extremely high. Again, these are statistics that a first grade NRL coach should be across.

    And it is further compounded by the last factor.

    Dylan Walker Manly Sea Eagles Matt Moylan Penrith Panthers NRL Rugby League 2016

    Who was in charge?
    Henry Perenara was the man with the whistle. Perenara blows his whistle more than any other ref in the NRL. In 2017, the games he has been in charge of have seen 241 penalties awarded at a rate of just under 14 a game. That’s two over the average.

    All Black Richie McCaw was legendary for his ability to push the rules to the limit. It wasn’t just because he was a superb player though. He ensured that he did fastidious research on the referees that would control his games so he knew what they were likely to crack down on and what they were likely to let go.

    McCaw’s record is testament to how good that tactic was. In this instance all Barrett had to do was to look at how many penalties Perenara usually awards to see the risk.

    Barrett was the officer on deck in charge of the HMAS Manly and he sailed it straight into a perfect storm – seemingly without checking the weather forecast before heading out.

    Manly’s penchant for transgressing was amplified by the home side’s talent for drawing penalties. This was multiplied again by the head referee’s partiality for awarding penalties. That predictably led to an extremely lop-sided first half possession ratio in the Panther’s favour.

    It exposed the absence of usual Manly defenders Sironen and especially Jake Trbojevic, leading to points conceded. Points that Manly were not able to claw back in the second stanza.

    While there were some contentious decisions during the match, the key reason for the loss was that Manly did not adjust their playing style. That was in spite of all the signs saying that if they didn’t they would gift their opponents masses of possession that their depleted side was unlikely to be able to sufficiently repel.

    Basically, Trent, it is your job to be across this stuff and it doesn’t seem like you were. Tell your story walking.

    Tim Gore
    Tim Gore

    Tim has been an NRL statistician for ABC Radio Grandstand since 1999, primarily as part of their Canberra coverage. Tim has loved rugby league since Sterlo was a kid with lots of hair but was cursed with having no personal sporting ability whatsoever. He couldn't take a hit in footy, was a third division soccer player making up numbers, plays off 41 in golf and is possibly the world's worst cricketer ever. He has always been good at arguing the point though and he has a great memory of what happened. Follow Tim on Twitter.

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    The Crowd Says (191)

    • July 11th 2017 @ 5:31am
      Craig said | July 11th 2017 @ 5:31am | ! Report

      I hate Manly and I’m happy to see them lose, but that was one of the worst refereeing displays I’ve seen. I never complain that refs influence matches, in fact I despise it. However, the try that was awarded was probably the worst I’ve seen this year. Combine that with the caning in the penalty count in the first half, manly stood no chance.

      • July 11th 2017 @ 7:24am
        Concerned Observer said | July 11th 2017 @ 7:24am | ! Report

        The worst try awarded this year was Uate’s try against newcastle, there’s a difference between contentious and not a try at all

        • July 11th 2017 @ 8:06am
          E-Meter said | July 11th 2017 @ 8:06am | ! Report

          Ha ha well played CO. That’s a zinger.

        • Roar Rookie

          July 11th 2017 @ 8:44am
          Hard Yards said | July 11th 2017 @ 8:44am | ! Report

          Yeah Uate’s was no try – but – it did happen while there was still something like 30 minutes left to play. It’s not as if the poor old Knights were robbed. The main point is how come the Panthers always win the penalty count when they’re at home. Are the refs worried about having their tyres slashed? Very dubious.
          There was no way Penrith weren’t going to come away with the points so as to keep the comp interesting.

          The usual conspiracy against Manly? You be the judge.

          • Columnist

            July 11th 2017 @ 9:10am
            Tim Gore said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:10am | ! Report

            Conspiracy against Manly…
            Last decade = two premierships, two runners up. Missed the finals twice?
            If that’s how the NRL conspires against a club how do I get them to conspire against my team? I will sign my boys up for that in a flash.
            It did cost the Knights the game. Absolutely it did.

            • July 11th 2017 @ 10:05am
              Wild Eagle said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:05am | ! Report

              So are you saying that a wrongly awarded try in a close game always means that that the losing team is robbed of a win or it is only the Manly Knights game where this is applicable?

              For a start the ball was stripped from Uate and it was a fair try , which has been missed by most and secondly if that try was disallowed I have no idea who would have won the game and nobody else does. It’s only a guess.

              I suspect Manly would have won the 2013 GF if the refs had of pulled up an obvious forward pass from the Rooters but to say I am certain is folly.

              I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories but bias by refs is a certain factor because they are human most of them.

              • Columnist

                July 11th 2017 @ 10:31am
                Tim Gore said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:31am | ! Report

                No, I’m not 100% certain ithe Knights would have won the game. But I’m 100% certain it cost them the game.
                Uate stripped Junior Paulo. Sh1t happens. You got away with both. You got away with little against the Panthers. Should have seen it coming and adjusted. Didn’t. Lost. Own fault.

            • July 11th 2017 @ 1:22pm
              Mark said | July 11th 2017 @ 1:22pm | ! Report

              Tell your story walking Tim
              That was the most blatant cheating I’ve ever seen
              Somebody wanted the panthers to win badly last weekend .
              Penalties were ridiculous
              That try !!!
              How does the bunker get thy wrong ????
              He was offside its like the bunker didn’t even look at it .
              I’d say instructions have come from higher up than the panthers neeeed to win that game if you can’t see that then you obviously have too many filters on it just hate Manly .
              But this is beyond a team bias that was cheating 100 % .
              You are obviously cranky at Manly for some reason but as an objective observer you would know that there was something rotten going on with the reffing and the bunker in that game

              • July 12th 2017 @ 12:17am
                Craig Dunsall said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:17am | ! Report

                How can you even come out and say that??

              • Columnist

                July 12th 2017 @ 12:54am
                Tim Gore said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:54am | ! Report

                I don’t hate Manly.

            • July 11th 2017 @ 9:15pm
              Sneaky said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:15pm | ! Report

              Plainly ridiculous to say it cost Newcastle the game, that’s like saying every incorrect decision that leads to points cost a team the game. What it did was cost Newcastle 6 points at that point in time in the game. No one can predict the course of the game had the try not been awarded, with 30 or so minutes of the game remaining, anything could have happened. Had it been the last play of the match maybe so, but no not in that instance .

              • Columnist

                July 12th 2017 @ 12:55am
                Tim Gore said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:55am | ! Report

                I’m not saying the Knights would have won if the Uate try had rightly been disallowed, but that try meant they couldn’t win. it cost them the game.

          • Roar Guru

            July 11th 2017 @ 12:07pm
            Renegade said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

            Why is there this thought process that the penalty count should be even?

            If a team pushes the boundaries too far and the rules get enforced on them… then it is what it is…. I don’t understand why people think there should be a 4-4 penalty count in every game.

            The rules don’t suggest each team should get the same amount of penalties.

            • Roar Guru

              July 11th 2017 @ 1:04pm
              Chris Kettlewell said | July 11th 2017 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

              Agreed! I find it strange that people seem to automatically think that an imbalanced penalty count means the refs have favoured one over the other. Maybe it’s imbalanced because one team simply committed more offences to be penalised!

              Arguing a lopsided penalty count only works if you can clearly point to numerous instances of two teams doing exactly the same thing and one getting pinged and the other not. In most games you’ll find both teams will have one or two times they are incorrectly penalised and probably some where they should have been but it was missed.

              People regularly point to the one or two things that went against their own team as proof they were robbed by the officials, even if there were twice as many things that incorrectly went against the opposition!

          • July 11th 2017 @ 2:15pm
            Albo said | July 11th 2017 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

            ” The main point is how come the Panthers always win the penalty count when they’re at home.”

            Thats just another myth ! Tim must be confused?
            In their 6 home games prior to the Manly game on Saturday the penalty counts were :
            Round 3 v Roosters = 9-10
            Round 4 v Knights = 10 – 8
            Round 6 v Souths = 4 – 7
            Round 7 v Sharks = 9 – 8
            Round 10 v Warriors = 5 – 2
            Round 14 v Raiders = 7 – 10

            TOTALS = 44 – 45 ( WInning the count 3 x times & losing it 3 x times ! )

            The 14-4 count to them on Saturday was an anomaly in the margin mainly due to Manly’s defensive strategies on their line, and a couple of refs errors . Just another day at a footy game !

            • July 12th 2017 @ 12:18am
              Craig Dunsall said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:18am | ! Report

              This isn’t always the case. You have to take into consideration the attacking strategies as well

            • Columnist

              July 12th 2017 @ 12:57am
              Tim Gore said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:57am | ! Report

              Albo, they average 9 penalties received at home. That’s the best in the NRL. That’s the key, not that they always win the counts.

          • July 12th 2017 @ 4:03am
            Don said | July 12th 2017 @ 4:03am | ! Report

            I’m currently overseas and didn’t see any NRL last weekend. If it were a stitch up – which I doubt – I am so disappointed I wasn’t there to see it and revel in the despair of the Coach, the team and the fans. I lived through the 70’s and my hatred of Manly knows no bounds. If you think the refs are bad nowadays, Iif you are a conspiracy theorist – get the tapes of Manly’s run through the finals in 1978 (including a replayed semi final and a replayed GF). It stunk like last weeks garbage! All I can say to all Manly fans is Ain’t Karma a bitch!

            • July 12th 2017 @ 9:22am
              DMac said | July 12th 2017 @ 9:22am | ! Report

              Guess what? Manly hates you too.

        • July 11th 2017 @ 9:52am
          Wild Eagle said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:52am | ! Report

          They were wrong not to refer the Uate try to the bunker however if they were to accurately review it the result still would be a try. The Newcastle player did a great job to strip the ball but Uate scored anyway .

          The inconvenient truth.

          • Columnist

            July 11th 2017 @ 10:32am
            Tim Gore said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:32am | ! Report

            Bollocks. He lost it in the tackle.

            • July 11th 2017 @ 1:24pm
              Wild Eagle said | July 11th 2017 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

              You clearly haven’t looked at it at slow motion like they do in the bunker Tim. Try having an unbiased look. The Knights player found a way to dislodge the ball as he was about to dive and did a great job in doing so but unluckily it didn’t stop a try.

              Without the bunker looking at it it is a no try any day of the week but that is why they have the bunker.

              • Columnist

                July 12th 2017 @ 12:58am
                Tim Gore said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:58am | ! Report

                I looked at it many times. He lost control of the ball while being tackled.

          • Roar Rookie

            July 11th 2017 @ 12:08pm
            William Dalton Davis said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

            This would have to be the single most one eyed comment I’ve ever seen. Makes trump supporters look like neutral observers. That’s been a no try every day since Mitch Moses parted the Red Sea.

            • Columnist

              July 11th 2017 @ 12:35pm
              Tim Gore said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

              He missed nine tackles that day against the Egyptians though. A fact often glossed over…

            • July 11th 2017 @ 1:27pm
              Wild Eagle said | July 11th 2017 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

              You clearly haven’t looked at the try in slow motion with an unbiased view as if you were in the bunker. the Knights player dislodged the ball and Uate scored without knocking on , nothing bizarre about that. Look at the facts before following the herd who are wrong this time.

              • July 11th 2017 @ 2:20pm
                LachyP said | July 11th 2017 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

                He loses possession and would have to regather. Never was, never will be a try in rugby league. No amount of slo-mo will change it and I’d very much doubt you’d think it was a try if it was Nathan Ross and not Uate.

        • July 11th 2017 @ 3:04pm
          Carlos said | July 11th 2017 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

          Worst try awarded this year so far has to be Valentine Holmes foot on the line try in SOOII

          • Columnist

            July 12th 2017 @ 12:59am
            Tim Gore said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:59am | ! Report

            I still reckon Holmes was in.

        • July 11th 2017 @ 5:40pm
          bearfax said | July 11th 2017 @ 5:40pm | ! Report

          Actually in the same game Manly were dudded a try by Uate, which seems to have been ignored

      • July 11th 2017 @ 1:44pm
        Mark said | July 11th 2017 @ 1:44pm | ! Report

        Exactly

      • July 18th 2017 @ 12:33pm
        Bert said | July 18th 2017 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

        There is nothing grubbier than a grubby grub.

    • July 11th 2017 @ 5:40am
      The Spectator said | July 11th 2017 @ 5:40am | ! Report

      The Panthers took there opportunity and congrats, the way the game was allowed to play for a good half hr with no whistle allowed the play the balls to be a scrap fest, it seemed they were only watching Manly from that point on.

    • July 11th 2017 @ 5:57am
      Nordburg said | July 11th 2017 @ 5:57am | ! Report

      Interesting that week in week out fans,commentators,journos etc.whinge and bitch about the officiating yet when 1 coach questions the referees they are classed as moaning.There needs to be changes in the standard of refereeing and rules and it’s only going to happen if coaches take a stand

      • Columnist

        July 11th 2017 @ 9:17am
        Tim Gore said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:17am | ! Report

        Nordburg, coaches always get accused of moaning. And most coaches do it.
        This article clearly states:
        “Never mind arguments about what the referees should do, or what the rules say, or the spirit of the game. That’s irrelevant. That’s how the game is clearly allowed to run.”
        My point is that Trent – now a senior coach – needs to be across the realities of the game as it is, not as he’d like it to be.
        This season he’s reaped the benefits of playing the system, this time he got done by it because he wasn’t smart enough to adjust his plan when the signs pointed to danger in playing business as usual.

    • July 11th 2017 @ 6:20am
      Nodge said | July 11th 2017 @ 6:20am | ! Report

      Mr Gore, you have inadvertently blown your whole argument out of the water by your own comment that the Panthers’ home crowd influence the decisions. Really, do you see this as a valid argument? Surely if the refs are doing their job properly they adjudicate on the play not what the crowd think. I like the Panthers, my second team in fact., but as my Cronulla mate said at the end of the game, that was abominable refereeing. Archer is clueless and the NRL needs to do something very soon as they are losing long time fans from the game. How can they seriously leave their best refs on the bench last weekend and let these second raters officiate? Just wrong and what we’ve grown to expect unfortunately.

      • Roar Guru

        July 11th 2017 @ 7:33am
        Michael Keeffe said | July 11th 2017 @ 7:33am | ! Report

        It’s a valid argument when it comes to Trent Barrett’s preparation. The preparation of his team could have included “hey boys the Panthers get a lot of home crowd penalties and this ref blows more penalties than anyone else we need to be extra disciplined today so the penalty count doesn’t get out of hand.”

        Tim is making the point that considering both those factors and also that Manly are one of the most penalized teams in the comp that Barrett should have prepared them accordingly. He obviously didn’t.

        Whether it’s right or wrong that teams get a home ground penalty advantage or even the standard of referring isn’t relevant to Tim’s argument. I agree that a lot of the refs are often not up to standard. However at some point coaches need to be smarter and take control of their teams and prepare them accordingly. We can’t blame everything on the officials whenever our team doesn’t win a penalty count. Tim is saying right or wrong Barrett could have and should have seen this coming with just a little bit of research. Either he didn’t or just put his head in the sand about the likelihood that his already highly penalized side could potentially be penalized out of the game if they didn’t adjust their style.

        • July 11th 2017 @ 8:20am
          Roberto said | July 11th 2017 @ 8:20am | ! Report

          You got that right.

        • Columnist

          July 11th 2017 @ 8:36am
          Tim Gore said | July 11th 2017 @ 8:36am | ! Report

          What MK said.

        • Roar Guru

          July 11th 2017 @ 9:48am
          Nat said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:48am | ! Report

          +1

        • July 11th 2017 @ 1:47pm
          HK_Sean said | July 11th 2017 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

          How do you know, Barrett didn’t do his homework and didn’t forewarn his players to be highly aware and disciplined? Fact is, the writer, yourself and most of us have no idea how or what Barrett prepared.

          A team simply cannot compete when only their side is being refereed. We can argue about the merits of the penalties awarded against Manly in that game (and I’m sure the majority of them can be rationally justified), but at the end of the day, the same scrutiny was not applied to both sides. I could rationally justify a spate of penalties going against the Panthers that weren’t… including off-side, hand on the ball, holding down in the rucks (all of which are subject to a certain amount of interpretation and desire to blow the whistle).

          No, penalty counts should not have to be even. Fact is, in our modern game and with so much grey area for interpretation, they inevitably are (my guess is it’s a psychological thing, but that’s a whole other issue). It is extremely rare to see a blow out like what happened in that game, and it is too easy for people with anti-manly sentiment to simply blame Manly. There has been enough comment in social media from non-Manly supporters questioning that referring performance to make one raise their eye brows.

          • Columnist

            July 12th 2017 @ 1:01am
            Tim Gore said | July 12th 2017 @ 1:01am | ! Report

            Now if youre going to start bringing ration and logic to this debate I’m going to have to ask you to leave. We are all about name calling, parochialism and Hyperbowl.

    • July 11th 2017 @ 6:53am
      Busty McCracken said | July 11th 2017 @ 6:53am | ! Report

      I was away so missed the game but have heard nothing but stories that the referees were terrible. Im a sea eagle fan and it sucks to hear but hey I don’t remember many sea eagle supporters crying foul when we claimed the 2 against Newcastle. Swings n roundabouts I say.

      • Columnist

        July 11th 2017 @ 8:37am
        Tim Gore said | July 11th 2017 @ 8:37am | ! Report

        Totally Busty

      • July 11th 2017 @ 12:30pm
        Albo said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

        Spot on Busty !
        Its all swings & roundabouts ! I have seen enough RL over half a century to realise that some days the luck runs with you and other days it is totally against you. That’s why I didn’t bother even mentioning how wrong the “no-try” decision was that went against Penrith in the 2nd half, or the strip on Moylan as he was going over to score in the first half. Hey ! Its swings and roundabouts ! The better side won on the night and the score probably flattered Manly thanks to their tactics of giving away penalties on their line to slow down the Panthers attack.

      • July 11th 2017 @ 3:47pm
        Cugel said | July 11th 2017 @ 3:47pm | ! Report

        I commented that had it been Manly shafted in the Newcastle game, no-one would have cared. But I was wrong, there would’ve been a celebration and street party.

        • July 11th 2017 @ 11:02pm
          Concerned Obersver said | July 11th 2017 @ 11:02pm | ! Report

          You’re right, I try to appreciate all teams in the NRL to some degree or another but I’m not going to deny the sense of schadenfreude at watching his meltdown.

          No matter the talent and skill of Manly, I’m a cowboys man and I still remember the absolute garbage that officials threw up in some of our games against Manly and even watching the Manly players laugh at the howlers called against us.

          To see this happen and watch how thin skinned the officials and fans of Manly are is always going to be good.

    • July 11th 2017 @ 7:03am
      Gray-Hand said | July 11th 2017 @ 7:03am | ! Report

      There is a baffling unwillingness by so many people in the NRL and the fan base to accept that sometimes a team breaks the rules more often than their opponents and gets penalised accordingly.

      • Roar Guru

        July 11th 2017 @ 7:22am
        Michael Keeffe said | July 11th 2017 @ 7:22am | ! Report

        Totally agree Gray-Hand. A lopsided penalty count doesn’t mean the refs got it wrong. Maybe it just meant one side transgressed a lot more hence the higher penalty count. The notion that penalty counts should be even in every game is ludicrous. When a team (e.g. Manly) is consistently one of the most penalized teams in the comp, it’s time to stop looking at the officials and start looking at the way they play the game.

        • July 11th 2017 @ 7:58am
          Gurudoright said | July 11th 2017 @ 7:58am | ! Report

          I totally agree. The issue of uneven penalty count really irritates me. I hate nothing more than seeing a captain practically crying to the ref “the penalty count is 10-2” without addressing the issue that their team is breaking the rules at least 10 times. As well as the refs usually giving warnings before a penalty like “release him”, “get back no. 8” etc. If the other team is getting away with the same things you are getting pulled up on, that is fair enough to query, but if your team is blatantly breaking the rules and getting pinged, don’t start crying to the ref about an unfair penalty count. You don’t and shouldn’t receive participation rewards at this level

          • July 11th 2017 @ 11:03am
            HarryT said | July 11th 2017 @ 11:03am | ! Report

            Most tackles these days involve the defending team slowing things down by holding the ball. Drives me crazy when my team gets penalized for it when the other team doesn’t. Similarly with inside the 10 metres, taking out the kicker/chasers, markers square and having a foot behind the try line when defending close to your line.

            It is becoming a bit of a joke for the game really. We all could sympathize with Gallen when he questioned the ref about his team being pinged twice for holding down penalties against Melbourne.

            • July 11th 2017 @ 12:39pm
              Gray-Hand said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

              Yet another example of Gallen antagonising the referee for no gain. He couldn’t persuade a kid to eat candy.

            • July 11th 2017 @ 2:31pm
              Gurudoright said | July 11th 2017 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

              But that’s the thing, we hear Gould every game go on about letting the game flow and the refs to let the game to be officiated in the “spirit” of the laws. The only problem is teams take advantage of the “spirit of the game” rules and then players and coaches spooking about things being let go by the ref. The NRL need to get the refs, players and coaches all on the same page, by following the rules to the letter or change those rules so every ref, player and coach knows exactly what the rules and how they will be applied in every game.

              • July 11th 2017 @ 3:52pm
                HarryT said | July 11th 2017 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

                Yeah, you can’t have ‘the spirit of the game rulings’ one minute, and then have the bunker using slo-mo to check if someone is a millimeter offside the next minute.

        • July 11th 2017 @ 4:39pm
          Harry said | July 11th 2017 @ 4:39pm | ! Report

          Problem is the refs are biased against us. We don’t get the Greenberg treatment like the eels, panthers and broncos do, we are manly. People hate us, we love it cause we hate them back although that comes with a cost that if stuff goes against you (eg Perenaras birth) then no one will support you, so the nrl are safe in doing so. Also, many on here referring to that uate try against Newcastle, however, no one ever mentioned how many shocking calls (not as bad as the calls in Penrith game) went against us.

          That panthers game was appalling to watch, honestly the most disgraceful refereeing performance I’ve ever seen. The penny panthers were offside all night, had their hands on the ball, slowed us down and got no punishments, whereas we were punished incorrectly about 7 or so times, plus that ridiculous try to dwz where archer claimed they grabbed the ball simultaniously, absolute “hogwash” as Walters would say

          • July 11th 2017 @ 5:53pm
            Gray-Hand said | July 11th 2017 @ 5:53pm | ! Report

            Conspiracy theories are the fairytales of the weak.

            • Columnist

              July 12th 2017 @ 1:03am
              Tim Gore said | July 12th 2017 @ 1:03am | ! Report

              I love conspiracy theories Grey Hand.

        • July 12th 2017 @ 6:59pm
          Col in paradise said | July 12th 2017 @ 6:59pm | ! Report

          Yep – they were doing it all day !!!!

        • July 12th 2017 @ 6:59pm
          Col in paradise said | July 12th 2017 @ 6:59pm | ! Report

          Yep – they were doing it all day !!!!

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