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Was it gamesmanship or poor sportsmanship?

Wade Graham in happier times. (AAP Image/Craig Golding)
Roar Guru
11th August, 2016
19

Call it what you may, what can’t be denied is Wade Graham lied at the coin toss before the start of golden point in the Gold Coast Titans versus Cronulla match recently in the NRL.

This potentially could have cost the Gold Coast Titans an extra set of six tackles and a possible victory.

Graham called heads when the toss was made, but later claimed to the referee that he actually called tails.

The call of ‘heads’ by Graham was heard clearly through the referee’s microphone so if the referee had any doubt at all he should have gone to the Bunker. What was stopping the referee in the Bunker from intervening on such a crucial decision?

To make matters worse, the refusal by referees to penalise players during golden point extra time has turned it in to an absolute farce. It has given free reign to players to infringe as they please safe in the knowledge that the referees haven’t got the courage to award a penalty.

It’s rather ironic when you think about how some of the referees almost blow the pea out of the whistle during regular time, yet come golden point they may as well put the whistle in their pockets. They virtually never use it.

With no action taken by the NRL against Graham for his dishonest act, it has now opened the door for other captains to follow suit. You can just imagine the controversy if it happens again during the finals series.

Make no mistake about it, Graham’s deceitful act bought the game of rugby league in to disrepute. The refusal by the referee or the Bunker to do anything about it and take it seriously has once again tarnished the game’s integrity.