The Roar
The Roar


PRENTICE: Will the referees decide this year's NRL title?

8th September, 2015
1253 Reads

Hello Roarers, I trust you are all well. I am not, as we steam towards the 2015 NRL finals. I believe our game is in serious trouble.

So much trouble that I fear this year’s premiership will be decided by the gross incompetence of the referees and their video mates.

If I must mention the match review committee, it’s even worse.

Can we politely pause here for raucous laughter? What a farce these guys are.

The last premiership round gave me way too much to fuel this point of view.

I saw Parramatta’s Semi Radradra score two tries from knock-ons that Blind Freddie would have ruled as such. Video refs? Nah, sweet. He’s a good bloke who is a chance of setting a few try-scoring records.

Bull, I say. He bounced the ball twice and finished with two tries.

I saw the Bulldogs come from the clouds to beat a gritty and gutsy Warriors thanks to a late try by James Graham after his dummy half threw the ball half a metre forward. It might have been one metre.

Nope, no replays. The Doggies were on a roll so they must score here.


That try decided the game. So what? Well, it could have been the grand final – and it could well happen in four weeks’ time.

I saw the Roosters’ five-eighth James Maloney deliberately kick out at a ball-carrying opponent. That’s a trip to me and a mandatory few weeks off.

But no, he plays for the flavour of the month. No way we can suspend this guy.

Give him a Grade 1, he’s not a dirty player. ‘Tsk, tsk, don’t do that again, James old boy, but feel free to play this week against Melbourne.’

I feel if he played for the Sharks, Storm or Bulldogs, he would have been suspended. ‘Well, see ya in the second week of the finals, Jimmy! Do some time for your rash act of stupidity. Everyone else does.’

That was a shocker. Lift your game, James. If you can’t tackle them, so be it; don’t just thrust out your leg.

Tripping/leg tackles are supposed to attract a major penalty. In this case nothing. Why?

And then we have the Manly-Cronulla game at Remondis.


Sea Eagle Justin Horo grabs an intercept, races 50-plus metres and offloads to Tom Trbojevic for the match-deciding try. Horo was way, way offside but the gibbering on-field officials missed that, and once it gets to the film, well, that’s all they can adjudicate on.

I am becoming increasingly dirty about the decisions thrust upon us in these NRL games. Some idiot in the video box may well decide this year’s premiership.

Let us go back to Radradra. If you know football, neither of his brace should have been awarded. He bounced the ball on both occasions.

Good blokes, romance and feel good stuff should not come into it, fellas. He bounced the ball twice trying to score.

The whole refereeing and video refereeing shebang is not up to scratch. It is going to cost a team big time in the weeks ahead.

It seems to be the North Queensland Cowboys at this time every year.

This season, the victim might be your team.