Knights vs Rabbitohs: More for Burgess, less for Hodkinson

Billy Stevenson Roar Guru

By Billy Stevenson, Billy Stevenson is a Roar Guru

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    George Burgess is in a little hot water with the judiciary. (AAP Image/Action Photographics, Robb Cox)

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    Yesterday’s match at McDonald Jones Stadium was one of the high points of the season so far.

    As the Knights start to regain form, there’s more of a sense of desperation and urgency to their matches.

    Add inconsistent refereeing into the mix and tempers are guaranteed to flare.

    Late in the game, Trent Hodkinson reacted furiously to a penalty for the Bunnies, telling the referee that he’d just decided the outcome of the afternoon.

    The irony was that Hodkinson’s actions decided the outcome, since he was promptly sin-binned for ten minutes, leaving Newcastle to bring home two more converted tries without him.

    There’s no doubt that speaking in that manner on the field has to be penalised. But would Cameron Smith or Johnathan Thurston have copped a full ten?

    It seemed even more unfair given that George Burgess had been sin-binned earlier in the game for elbowing and throwing punches at Mitch Barnett.

    Sometimes fights break out organically and it’s hard to tell who’s the instigator. This wasn’t one of those cases.

    Instead, Burgess lost the ball after a big tackle and lashed out.

    The fact that Burgess was only sin-binned, rather than sent off for the entire match, makes Hodkinson’s punishment seem unnecessarily drastic.

    Sure, remonstrating with a referee is bad form, but is it really as bad as biffing your opponent in the face just because you stuff up on the field?

    Newcastle Knights players Trent Hodkinson and Daniel Saifiti

    If Hodkinson was sin-binned, then Burgess should have been sent off for the entire match.

    Similarly, if Burgess was sin-binned, then Souths should have been given another set of six and Hodkinson allowed to remain on the field.

    Finally, even if Burgess and Hodkinson’s actions are in fact equivalent then this equivalence needs to be applied consistently over the rest of the season.

    While having Burgess back on again after ten minutes might have mobilised the Knights further, there’s no doubt that removing Hodkinson from the field in the final stretch swamped their chances of winning.

    When a match is won or lost on sin-binning, we have a right to expect the rules are crystal clear.

    From now on, then, we have a right to expect that every player who throws a one-liner at the ref is sent off for ten minutes, and that any player who throws a punch on the field is also sent off for ten minutes.

    Let’s hope, too, that Hodkinson comes back with a bang next week, since he hasn’t been so downright entertaining for a long time.

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    The Crowd Says (23)

    • Roar Guru

      March 19th 2017 @ 8:44am
      The Barry said | March 19th 2017 @ 8:44am | ! Report

      I’d be comfortable with players getting the bin in either circumstance but there’s no way this is going to be applied consistently.

      To be honest Hodkinsons comment is at the mild end of the scale and plenty get away with worse. It reeks of the ref taking it personally and reacting when keeping cool and telling Hokko to pull his head in was a better response in the context of the game.

      How many times do you hear refs say “one more time and someone’s sitting down”? Seems to apply all the time except when it’s about them apparently.

      • Roar Guru

        March 19th 2017 @ 9:15am
        Billy Stevenson said | March 19th 2017 @ 9:15am | ! Report

        I thought Hodkinson’s comment was pretty mild too, although I’m happy for it to be a sin-bin so long as that’s applied consistently.

        I still think Burgess deserved more though – that was really ugly and petulant. Terrible sportsmanship.

        • Roar Guru

          March 19th 2017 @ 9:22am
          The Barry said | March 19th 2017 @ 9:22am | ! Report

          Re Burgess. It was but we’re playing footy. I can live with a boof head over reacting and just getting 10 in the bin.

          Send off would have seemed a massive over reaction from the refs.

      • Roar Rookie

        March 19th 2017 @ 10:46am
        steveng said | March 19th 2017 @ 10:46am | ! Report

        ‘The Barry’, how long and often do you want the refs to put up with this ‘telling Hokko to pull his head in was a better response in the context of the game’ or march them 10m? But as ‘Billy Stevens’ said ‘so long as that’s applied consistently’. But there must have been lots of warnings before Hokko got his marching orders, he was lucky that he didn’t get sent off. But this this the problem with NRL refereeing, they haven’t applied disciplinary actions e.g. sin binning and sending off of players for donkeys years, this has nurtured the language and backchat to refereeing decisions of today. Can you imagine if JT, CS would be sin binned and/or sent off in any game for back chatting? Can you imagine the uproar that it would cause if the refs action would contribute to their sides losing. The referees have to set a standard of discipline and language that is acceptable and anything else should be penalised, sin binned or sent off appropriately, that is the only answer and solution to this problem!!!

        • Roar Guru

          March 19th 2017 @ 11:22am
          The Barry said | March 19th 2017 @ 11:22am | ! Report

          Smith rarely or ever says anything to the refs that questions their integrity. I think that’s what people misunderstand about Smith. Yes he talks to the refs a lot but 99% of the time it’s respectful.

          JT gets caught up in the heat of the moment more often and has pushed the envelope (and more) many times. I can’t recall him getting binned so I come back to the fact that binning Hodkinson was inconsistent.

          I also think “you cost us the game” is mildly disrespectful but certainly not questioning the refs integrity. I don’t think it’s sin bin worthy because we wouldn’t have seen it sin binned last week and we will see worse not get binned next week.

          Marching him 10 and no bin would have been appropriate. Sin bin for that was an over reaction.

          Having said that if this is part of a new crackdown and anything like that will be binned consistently I’ll definitely support it. I think we all know that’s not going to happen though.

          • Roar Rookie

            March 19th 2017 @ 11:55am
            steveng said | March 19th 2017 @ 11:55am | ! Report

            Hopefully it will and its not a ‘one off’!!! The NRL needs strict discipline in language anyway. There is too much of the ‘F’ word being televised to our youngsters and fans that watch the game. And JT is a very guilty component of that.

          • Roar Guru

            March 19th 2017 @ 8:54pm
            Magnus M. Østergaard said | March 19th 2017 @ 8:54pm | ! Report

            JT got binned a couple of years ago TB for dissent. I remember him getting warned and he didnt stop so he got binned.

            • Roar Guru

              March 19th 2017 @ 10:41pm
              The Barry said | March 19th 2017 @ 10:41pm | ! Report

              How was his blowup compared to Hodkinson’s? Was what JT said on par?

    • March 19th 2017 @ 9:06am
      Bowie said | March 19th 2017 @ 9:06am | ! Report

      What happened to marching the penalty 10 metres for mouthing off. Massive over reaction in a very poor game for refs which made them appear bias

      • March 19th 2017 @ 9:33am
        Silvertail47 said | March 19th 2017 @ 9:33am | ! Report

        Shhhhhh Bowie , Grasshopper will bin you for that statement,didn’t Gal have a go at the refs in a game earlier this year ? I’m sure he did , he punches harder than little ole Hodgkinson

      • March 19th 2017 @ 10:27am
        Jim said | March 19th 2017 @ 10:27am | ! Report

        They were marched an extra ten numerous times during the match. I’d say there was a lot of back chat from the knights, they were warned and chose to ignore the warning. Saying burgess lashed out unprovoked is silly. The knights prop had his hands in his face before hand and can be seen giving burgess a smack

        • March 19th 2017 @ 2:45pm
          Bowie said | March 19th 2017 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

          I remember when my mom gave me a smack and how it hurt my feelings therefore I agree Burgess and refs reactions were justified

    • March 19th 2017 @ 9:39am
      jacksyd said | March 19th 2017 @ 9:39am | ! Report

      Wrong for George to react that way but no mention of the swinging forearm to his head in the tackle which he reacted to.

    • March 19th 2017 @ 9:39am
      kk said | March 19th 2017 @ 9:39am | ! Report

      I object to any referee sending my favourite player from the field.

      Mr. Munro should apologise to Trent Hodkinson and promise he will never do it again.

    • March 19th 2017 @ 10:06am
      Chris Morrison said | March 19th 2017 @ 10:06am | ! Report

      I think maybe Hodkinson would of only been marched 10 if it was the first time in the game.

      However, after Souths were awarded their first penalty of the game the referee matched them 10 for dissent. Maybe it was Hodkinson again??

      As for George, definitely deserved a sin bin. Striking equals ten in the bin these days. I find it funny though that the “big shot” the author refers to was a smash in the head and was ignored. George doesn’t hit him if he isn’t hit first.

      What should of happened was the referee blow a penalty immediately for the high shot and then nothing would of happened.

      Also, to make comment on inconsistency in the rulings…. what about Zane Musgrove being penalised for pressuring the kicker? Looked exactly the same as Adam Blairs attempts on every kicker. I though as long as the player wrapped his arms and made a tackle it was fair play? Instead Lamb gets up pushing Musgrove in the face and gets a penalty for it where the ball lands.

      • March 19th 2017 @ 10:20am
        Jeff Davis said | March 19th 2017 @ 10:20am | ! Report

        It’s only a ‘smash in the head’ because George ducks his head to chest level just before contact with the defense. He regularly does it and if you’re going to use your head as a weapon like that you have to expect ‘high’ contact.

        I agree the attacking the legs penalty was harsh though. Pretty much when you’re pressuring the kicker now you have to make a chest tackle or you get done for it.

    • Roar Rookie

      March 19th 2017 @ 10:20am
      steveng said | March 19th 2017 @ 10:20am | ! Report

      This is the unfortunate thing that referees have tried to avoid and have been terrified of (especially from the big teams NQL, Broncos, Storm etc) that they will be accused of like Trent Hodkinson did ‘telling the referee that he’d just decided the outcome of the afternoon’. The sin binning of Burgess was spot on (and being a Bunnies supporter, he should get the full wack of the judiciary) and in Hodkinson case it should have been a send-off. It’s about time that the refs bit the bullet and took no nonsense from players, these players are getting out of control and the refereeing is going down that path also. If the Knights want to blame Hodkinson’s sin bin on their loss then what about the Bunnies sin binning of Burgess when they scored their only points? The Bunnies and the Knights were undisciplined and made allot of mistakes, the Bunnies should have won this game by 20+ (if they had the discipline and didn’t drop so much ball) especially when Reynolds was in front of the post, it was 22-12, 5 meters out with a penalty and the Bunnies went for the 2 pointer with the Knights having 12 men. The refereeing had nothing to do with it.

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