It is time for Shane Flanagan and Trent Barrett to grow up

Mr X Roar Guru

By Mr X, Mr X is a Roar Guru

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40 Have your say

    “Unbelievable.” “Disgraceful.”

    These were the words used by Trent Barrett and Shane Flanagan to condemn the performance of the referees in what was otherwise a pulsating weekend of footy.

    Funnily enough, it is ironic that such words could be more correctly used to describe both coaches’ attitude towards defeat. You see, the problem in our game does not lie within the inability of the match officials to interpret the rules correctly.

    Rather, the cancerous attitude towards referees that both Flanagan and Barrett have not only condoned, but actively added to is the real issue. Todd Greenberg summed it up perfectly on Monday morning with two simple words – “Grow up.”

    Unfortunately, the childish image that both coaches reflected in their handling of defeat is more influential than it may appear.

    The onus for protecting the integrity and image of our game does not rest solely with the referees, nor does the responsibility fall towards the fans.

    Rather, it is the coaches in particular who hold the power. They are the figurehead of all sporting codes – the men and women who are meant to represent what each club stands for.

    What some people may not understand is the impact that these significant figures within our game have on the way that we, the fans, view certain issues.

    When Shane Flanagan walked into Sunday night’s Press Conference and not once admitted his own side’s failings, he sparked a storm within the Cronulla supporter base. If his behaviour is acceptable, then why would it not be for us fans?

    At least Trent Barrett still spoke of Penrith’s efforts and later congratulated the side on their victory before they left.

    As for Flanagan – well he thought he was doing what was right for the game by reading an exhaustive list of errors made by the officials.

    Well, Shane – there was another list that you left out – a list including the 17 errors, 34 missed tackles and 11 conceded penalties which were the fault of no one but your own side, who finished the regular season with 266 errors and 175 conceded penalties.

    Cronulla Sharks coach Shane Flanagan. (AAP Image/Jane Dempster)

    (AAP Image/Jane Dempster)

    That’s right – instead of focussing on the real issue facing his club, that derailed their chances at back-to-back premierships, Flanagan decided it was appropriate to take the easier option. Unfortunately, so did many of his fans and with this faded the now distant memory of what was a thrilling weekend of competition.

    So, I think it is time that we all take Todd Greenberg’s advice and “grow up.” Yet, this all starts with the coaches. They are the ones that we fans passionately stand behind each and every year.

    Their opinions are the ones that truly matter to us. What happened to the Shane Flanagan of 2013? The one who correctly admitted that “these things happen in our game” after Beau Ryan’s infamous seven-tackle try which gifted the Sharks a controversial 20-18 win over the very opponents that they were just defeated by on Sunday afternoon.

    Memory is a fickle thing. Todd Greenberg’s statement yesterday was an important step towards reconciling the current refereeing spectacle that threatens to overshadow the development of players like Latrell Mitchell, whose Greg Inglis-type fend in the 75th minute was all the talk before Barrett and Flanagan’s tirades.

    Rugby league is an eighty minute game and human error is inevitable, from both players and referees. Match officials are human – they make mistakes.

    A classy side, however, is the one that wins in spite of this – something that Trent Barrett and Shane Flanagan should both keep in mind.

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    The Crowd Says (40)

    • Roar Rookie

      September 12th 2017 @ 2:16pm
      Matthew Pearce said | September 12th 2017 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

      Perfectly stated.

      Not just the coaches, but multitudes of fans also need a heavy dose of maturity. You don’t need to be a mindless drone who thinks the refs never make an error, you just have to put those decisions into perspective.

      If you’re whinging about cherry-picked calls long after the game, you really do need to just “grow up!”

      • Roar Guru

        September 12th 2017 @ 5:40pm
        Mr X said | September 12th 2017 @ 5:40pm | ! Report

        Whenever my team is dudded by ref calls, I personally always go by the fact that rugby league is an 80 minute game and therefore, unless the mistake by the officials is made with around five minutes or so left, you always have time to make up for it as a team – that is the sign of a true premiership contender.

        • Roar Rookie

          September 12th 2017 @ 5:48pm
          Matthew Pearce said | September 12th 2017 @ 5:48pm | ! Report

          That’s exactly right. You always have time to recover, and if you can’t, you don’t deserve to win.

          I don’t see how it’s any different to someone dropping the ball close to the try line, both human errors, both unintended, neither necessarily cost you the game.

    • September 12th 2017 @ 2:45pm
      Wild Eagle said | September 12th 2017 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

      I can’t recall too many teams being classy enough to win when they play poorly and the ref has a shocker.

      Plenty have won when they play poorly but if you think they can then overcome three crucial incorrect calls from the bunker then you may find yourself at NRL head quarters soon , unless you are already there.

      • Roar Rookie

        September 12th 2017 @ 3:04pm
        Matthew Pearce said | September 12th 2017 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

        QLD nearly managed it in Origin 3 last year. Multiple teams have won despite being average and not getting the rub of the green (Broncs vs Dragons a few weeks ago comes to mind). If you’re not playing well, you can’t be surprised if you lose. If you have the opportunity to recover and you don’t, that’s your own fault.

        The three bunker calls against Manly were all correct (i presume that’s what you’re referencing). Wouldn’t have even been an issue if Uate hadn’t bombed a sitter and they turned up for the last ten minutes.

        It’s fine to be angry at decisions and think they’re wrong, but you can’t blame them for losses because they don’t decide games.

        • September 12th 2017 @ 3:32pm
          Beavis said | September 12th 2017 @ 3:32pm | ! Report

          Coaches are angry because in the last 5 minutes of the Cronulla game 3 decisions went to the other team to force a draw and 1 was clearly wrong and the other 2 were at complete odds with each (stripping the ball). Perhaps it was more a complaint about the stripping rule which is unenforceable and the fact that refs seem to be reffing for a close game for TV. Suttons decision of try for peachey was against all previous ref actions when the ball is near hands or rebounds – RL refs play a knock on at the slightest drop of a ball whether its hit a head, or stomach or gone backwards etc so for him to presume try is bizarre. I have no problem with the bunker – to the naked eye it looked a knock on but the bunker couldn’t prove it.

          • Roar Rookie

            September 12th 2017 @ 3:45pm
            Matthew Pearce said | September 12th 2017 @ 3:45pm | ! Report

            “To force a draw”

            Unless you can somehow prove that the refs were engaging in match-fixing, that’s demonstrably false.

            “Refs seem to be reffing for a close game”

            Again, not tangible.

            Your description of the last few calls sounds like how Cronulla got a penalty for a strip that was actually a lost ball, then scored the next set. Don’t see much complaining about that from the naysayers though.

            A player visibly dropping the ball vs a player possibly scraping the ball with his hand as it bounced off him are two different occurrences.

        • September 12th 2017 @ 3:35pm
          Chui said | September 12th 2017 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

          In your OPINION, the three calls were correct.

          If they were so cut and dried, there wouldn’t be an issue.

          • Roar Rookie

            September 12th 2017 @ 3:49pm
            Matthew Pearce said | September 12th 2017 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

            Walker only ever had one foot behind the kicker, the top-down camera angle shows that the ball never came near Peachey’s hand, Uate failed to ground the ball. All demonstrably correct calls. Any bunker decisions I missed?

            • September 12th 2017 @ 5:54pm
              Beavis said | September 12th 2017 @ 5:54pm | ! Report

              Ex refs boss Greg mccallum agrees with me on most of the calls and I have no interest in Manly or Cronulla. If you could explain how the Cowboys player had a hand on the ball in Gallens case which every other week is a penalty depending on who is reffing. And no-one explains how Sutton went for try when to all at the ground peachey looked to knockon which is the default position of all refs. Greenburg was thrilled the games went down to the wire so Roy masters and Warren Ryans call that refs are choreographers of results is pertinent. The Cronulla score on a strip reinforces the point that that rule is unenforceable and at the whim of a referee as was evidenced in the last 5 minutes.

              • Roar Rookie

                September 12th 2017 @ 6:06pm
                Matthew Pearce said | September 12th 2017 @ 6:06pm | ! Report

                Problem with the Gallen case is that he was attempting to score a try, of course there were going to be hands and arms around. He then attempted to milk a penalty by dropping it as the Cowboys players were getting out of the tackle. I agree those are called inconsistently but you can hardly accuse the NRL of match-fixing to this extent.

                Besides, like so many others, you’re ignoring that both of Cronulla’s tries came off of similarly dubious calls.

                Peachey try has been confirmed as correct by the top-down angle – there’s no argument to make there.

                The conspiracy theories are really quite boring.

              • Roar Guru

                September 12th 2017 @ 6:16pm
                Mr X said | September 12th 2017 @ 6:16pm | ! Report

                Yeah in reference to the Gallen call I’m happy with them calling them errors so that it deters players from playing for the penalty. As said, however, consistency with this ruling is the ultimate issue.

            • September 12th 2017 @ 6:34pm
              Wild Eagle said | September 12th 2017 @ 6:34pm | ! Report

              Mathew Pierce you are absolutely wrong. Walkers try is 100% a try and ex ref says two out of the three calls were incorrect..

              You are so biased that anything you say after this gross denial is never going to be taken seriously.

              There is an issue which needs to be addressed whether you can see it or not

              • Roar Rookie

                September 12th 2017 @ 6:50pm
                Matthew Pearce said | September 12th 2017 @ 6:50pm | ! Report

                Look, mate, I don’t know what your issue is or why you’re still so bitter over the result, but maybe you need to have a think about this “growing up” suggestion yourself.

                “An ex-ref says two of the three calls were incorrect”. Funny how the ref’s opinion is so infallible when it supports you. MG and Matty Johns disagree. Player > ref, isn’t that the gist of the situation?

                Biased? Mate, I would’ve preferred Manly to win, they’d be far less of a problem for us next week than Penrith will be. But whatever you say.

                There are issues that need to be addressed. This isn’t one of them.

        • September 12th 2017 @ 6:36pm
          Wild Eagle said | September 12th 2017 @ 6:36pm | ! Report

          At times refs do clearly do decide games and only a fool would argue otherwise.

          • September 12th 2017 @ 11:16pm
            Bill larkin said | September 12th 2017 @ 11:16pm | ! Report

            How and why do refs decide games? Back your comments up.

            I take it you are not saying refs simply make mistakes. This is trite. You appear to pointing to nefarious motives. Out with it, chapter and verse.

            • September 14th 2017 @ 1:45am
              Wild Eagle said | September 14th 2017 @ 1:45am | ! Report

              I am reliably informed by Mr X at 6.54 below that one wrong call cost Newcastle a win against the Eagles this year.

              That is where people like him and you have no credibility.

              It happens all the time in these posts.

              They say “referees don’t cost teams a win” and the same person then tells you about a time when it does happen.

              If Uates try wasn’t given then Manly wouldn’t be in the finals anyway , so says MR X.

              You can’t have it both ways .

              The proof is in these posts that people change their story around 180 degrees to try to win a debate.

              Hand of god costs the Cowboys a win I am told over and over again by people who then claim that Bunker decisions don’t ever cost Manly a win. It is beyond hilarious.

              Take up the debate with MR X and remind him how the Knights were robbed by one decision for sure in his ”opinion”

              • Roar Guru

                September 14th 2017 @ 8:43pm
                Mr X said | September 14th 2017 @ 8:43pm | ! Report

                As I have said below, you have completely misinterpreted my point.

      • Roar Guru

        September 12th 2017 @ 5:43pm
        Mr X said | September 12th 2017 @ 5:43pm | ! Report

        You may have misinterpreted. For example, if Manly were really that annoyed at the Peachey try (that was the correct call) then the sign of a good team is one that gets on with the job and makes sure that the decision does not affect the result – ie. they fight their way back into the game and score. As I said before, Rugby League is an 80 minute game and there is usually always time to make up for mistakes that refs might make. They are a part of the game.

        • Roar Rookie

          September 12th 2017 @ 5:50pm
          Matthew Pearce said | September 12th 2017 @ 5:50pm | ! Report

          To be fair, Manly did try to come back from that call. Not getting the try or another line drop out after the first one is what did them in, personally, the last try was just the icing on the cake.

          • Roar Guru

            September 12th 2017 @ 5:57pm
            Mr X said | September 12th 2017 @ 5:57pm | ! Report

            Yeah fair point. Manly’s biggest issue on Saturday night was definitely their execution. Had a fair few chances to wrap that game up but failed to capitalise on a number of occasions.

        • September 12th 2017 @ 6:45pm
          Wild Eagle said | September 12th 2017 @ 6:45pm | ! Report

          Two good teams play with equal ability and one gets a few dud calls. If you don’t understand that one of them is hard done by then you don’t have a grip on reality.

          • Roar Guru

            September 12th 2017 @ 6:54pm
            Mr X said | September 12th 2017 @ 6:54pm | ! Report

            Yeah they may be hard done by (Manly were not really hard done by, the Walker decision was the only question mark and the speed at which the Bunker made the decision should give you the confidence that they knew what they were doing) but the point is also that in the end, luck comes and goes. Think back to the Uate try against Newcastle, if that wasn’t given then Manly wouldn’t be in the finals in the first place. That’s the right attitude to have – it is a part of the game that can work both in your favour and against you.

            • September 12th 2017 @ 10:58pm
              Matth said | September 12th 2017 @ 10:58pm | ! Report

              Good call

            • September 14th 2017 @ 2:33am
              Wild Eagle said | September 14th 2017 @ 2:33am | ! Report

              If Manly lost to Newcastle ( which is a certain thing according to you based on one wrong call) Manly finish the rounds in 7th place. They do make the finals.

              If the refs don’t miss a forward pass against the Tigers in the last play of the game we are back to 6th.

              The speed of the decision gives me confidence in the Walker no try? Yes It did because anything else like that was given as a try all year.

              Maybe the speed of the decision in Uates try should give you even more confidence. He was that confident that he didn’t go to the bunker.

              If he did go to the bunker they might see that the defender cleverly spears his arm in and dislodges the ball. He would need to take his time however and see what others have missed.
              Have an unbiased look MR X and try to look for the truth and not just to win a debate.

              • Roar Guru

                September 14th 2017 @ 8:41pm
                Mr X said | September 14th 2017 @ 8:41pm | ! Report

                That was not the point I was making. The point I was making was that these decisions come and go. Continue being salty though… it makes Saturday night’s win even sweeter.

    • Roar Pro

      September 12th 2017 @ 4:45pm
      Ben Lewis said | September 12th 2017 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

      Agree 100% mate. Hopefully the $20,000 and $30,000 fines for Barrett and Flanagan (respectively) will help them understand what they did wrong.

    • September 12th 2017 @ 5:05pm
      Big Daddy said | September 12th 2017 @ 5:05pm | ! Report

      I thought Flanagan had a sheet of his teams mistakes.
      It would have been much bigger than that.
      No one is ever going to take either of these 2 seriously ever again or gain any respect.
      We have all seen what Gallen attitude in losing after SOO.
      Time to hang the boots up.
      These 2 grown men on charge of professional teams and they behave like this.

    • September 12th 2017 @ 5:29pm
      Matt said | September 12th 2017 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

      Could it just be about time to change the subject yet – already?

      How about the 5 minutes each way extra time. What a bloody winner. Means setting up for the one point won’t always get you home. A try may not necessarily get you home, and there’s still a chance of a draw at the end. Fox allow for 5 minutes each way to happen on any given game, so just do it. Play out the ten minutes. It’s a bloody winner I reckon.

      • Roar Rookie

        September 12th 2017 @ 5:42pm
        Matthew Pearce said | September 12th 2017 @ 5:42pm | ! Report

        I agree, great implementation. Should have always been this way instead of the farce that is golden point. Personally I think playing the whole 10 minutes straight would be fairer, might need a slightly longer break beforehand though? 5 minutes isn’t a lot of time when you get down to it, especially if you’re behind the eight-ball from the get-go.

        • Roar Guru

          September 12th 2017 @ 5:45pm
          Mr X said | September 12th 2017 @ 5:45pm | ! Report

          Yeah I too agree it worked very well! I didn’t even realise it had been introduced when Morgo kicked the FG on Sunday. A definite winner in my books and could certainly be used in the regular season.

          • Roar Rookie

            September 12th 2017 @ 5:52pm
            Matthew Pearce said | September 12th 2017 @ 5:52pm | ! Report

            Morgo sunk us last year in the semis in the 86th minute I think. Hadn’t even recovered from 2015…

            I still don’t like the idea of extra time in regular fixtures myself, nothing wrong with a draw after 80 minutes.

            • Roar Guru

              September 12th 2017 @ 5:55pm
              Mr X said | September 12th 2017 @ 5:55pm | ! Report

              Well Golden Point is surely not the way forward. It is a great spectacle but it really is not a fair system given that another side can be thumped by 40 and still also get no points.

              • Roar Rookie

                September 12th 2017 @ 6:01pm
                Matthew Pearce said | September 12th 2017 @ 6:01pm | ! Report

                Yep. The other issue is that you can potentially play out the whole 10 minutes without scoring, so it’s not even a blanket fix to the “problem”. Which is why I think extra time should only be for games where there needs to be a winner.

    • September 12th 2017 @ 6:35pm
      Matt said | September 12th 2017 @ 6:35pm | ! Report

      What will intrigue the fan, and players alike is the strategy used. Not to say the 2015 Grand Final wasn’t super, but imagine playing out the whole 10 minutes of extra time? Time for Hunt to redeem himself perhaps? Broncos get it back off a short kick off and then what? I don’t follow either team, but would definitely have been fun. I think Bennett for one, would agree it’s fairer than first to score anything.

      • Roar Rookie

        September 12th 2017 @ 6:45pm
        Matthew Pearce said | September 12th 2017 @ 6:45pm | ! Report

        I agree (not just because I’m a Broncs fan). Many of us have believed the whole time that golden point isn’t the answer, nice to finally get some good proper discussion around it.

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