Losing finals coaches Flanagan and Barrett fined by NRL for ref criticism



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    NRL boss Todd Greenberg has drawn a line in the sand over a spate of referee criticism, slugging Shane Flanagan and Trent Barrett with fines and telling the game to “grow up”.

    A frustrated Greenberg on Monday fired back at Cronulla coach Flanagan and Manly counterpart Barrett after both took a swipe at the whistleblowers in the wake of their sides’ exits from the NRL finals.

    Both will receive breach notices in the next 24 hours, said Greenberg, who was eager to take a tough stance on anyone disparaging match officials.

    “In a fantastic round of finals, it’s been marred by the response of some of the losing teams,” Greenberg said.

    “Unfortunately in our game we’ve developed a culture of blaming match officials for a loss.

    “It sets a terrible example to fans and a terrible example to grassroots and it’s got to stop. It’s time for the game to grow up.”

    Week one of the finals – in which three of the four games were decided by two points or less – was overshadowed by Flanagan, Barrett and Parramatta counterpart Brad Arthur’s criticism of the referees.

    Flanagan described as “disgraceful” the performance of the referees after his side was knocked out by North Queensland on Sunday afternoon, and brought a list of 10 grievances to his post-game press conference.

    The Sharks coach on Monday doubled down on his criticism in a television news interview while the club’s website carried a story in which it blamed the NRL’s low attendance in week one of the finals on refereeing “blunders”.

    Barrett ordered referees boss Tony Archer to front his shattered players after a controversial call to award Penrith centre Tyrone Peachey a decisive try and knock back a Dylan Walker four-pointer because of an offside ruling.

    Greenberg said the coaches needed to set a better example and their criticism was affecting the number of people willing to join the refereeing ranks.

    “To suggest a team won’t be playing finals football is only due to refereeing errors is ridiculous and it needs to be called out,” Greenberg said.

    Greenberg said after reviewing all four games, he believed a majority of the decisions were correct.

    He conceded the on-field referees and video referees needed to be better but denied Archer’s job was under pressure.

    It is yet to be determined how much Barrett and Flanagan will be fined and Greenberg said he would look at raising the standard fine for referee criticism from $10,000 to act as a stronger deterrent.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (7)

    • September 12th 2017 @ 5:15am
      realist said | September 12th 2017 @ 5:15am | ! Report

      Greenberg is the one that needs to grow up or ship out! If only comments weren’t censored!

    • September 12th 2017 @ 5:40am
      Rob said | September 12th 2017 @ 5:40am | ! Report

      Well done Todd. I understand it’s hard to accept a close season ending loss but the coaches and captains should be leading by example. Take a bit of ownership in your teams performance and tip your hat to the victor first. After that I can accept a little bit of grieving and debate over a contentious calls. What Flanagan did was embarrassing for the game.

    • September 12th 2017 @ 7:29am
      tv owns league said | September 12th 2017 @ 7:29am | ! Report

      I thought Flanagan and Barrett had every right to go off. If Greenberg can’t see there’s a problem then maybe he should walk away with Archer

      • September 12th 2017 @ 10:18am
        Oingo Boingo said | September 12th 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

        Yep , these Two are a blight on the game and really need to start taking responsibility for its decline under their supervision.

        • September 12th 2017 @ 11:31am
          JVGO said | September 12th 2017 @ 11:31am | ! Report

          Well said Oingo.

    • September 12th 2017 @ 2:45pm
      Tom G said | September 12th 2017 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

      Greenberg is a pathetic facsimile of a CEO. Should be replaced with a house plant

    • September 16th 2017 @ 5:00am
      RayCee said | September 16th 2017 @ 5:00am | ! Report

      I have watched the performances of both Cronulla and Manly this year, feeling they have overall been average. Neither was going too far into the finals whatever the officials did or didn’t do. Of course 50-50 calls hurt but when I saw the calls I had no problem. The sin binning Flanagan said was barely a penalty. It was a good call IMO. He does need to accept his team were not good enough.

      I will say that media people should not be allowed to ask questions about the officiating in the press conference. They can express their opinions in their articles, but asking the coaches to comment straight after a game should be off limits. That said Flanagan turned up ready to give a broadside, whereas Barrat was prodded.

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