Sharks and Manly cop hefty fines over referees comments

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    Shane Flanagan and Trent Barrett have been stung with a combined $50,000 in fines from the NRL for comments made about referees following last weekend’s finals losses.

    Cronulla’s Flanagan has been hit with a breach notice of $30,000 after he labelled the officiating as “disgraceful” in his team’s elimination loss to North Queensland on Sunday.

    Barrett’s fine was $20,000 – more than the usual $10,000 – after he blamed officials for ending Manly’s season in their loss to Penrith.

    The fines come after NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg told the game to “grow up” in a line-in-the-sand speech against the two coaches – a view reiterated by head of football Brian Canavan on Tuesday.

    “Our message is clear – no matter the significance of the match or the specific circumstances, coaches cannot cross the line,” Canavan said.

    “The integrity of our match officials and the game needs to be protected.”

    Manly have already confirmed they will weigh up whether to appeal the sanction, with both clubs having until next Tuesday to do so.

    Barrett’s fine comes after he invited referee’s boss Tony Archer and the game’s officials into his sheds to explain two controversial calls in his team’s loss to Penrith.

    The Manly coach was livid the bunker overruled an off-field call of try to deny Dylan Waler a crucial four-pointer for being offside, but didn’t rule in his favour in Penrith centre Tyrone Peachey’s effort to break a 10-10 deadlock late.

    “We will be reviewing the basis upon which the NRL breach notice was issued and will be determining our position on the matter in the coming days,” the club said in a statement.

    Flanagan’s larger fine comes after he also made remarks on the club’s website, in an interview that was sent to members and also published online.

    Flanagan produced a list of what he claimed to be at least 10 refereeing errors in the Sharks’ extra-time loss to North Queensland, some of which have already been disproved.

    Meanwhile the NRL insists Ashley Klein and Gavin Badger’s non-selection for the two semi-finals this weekend is not a demotion as a result of Sunday’s performance, but rather because there were two games, not four.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (13)

    • Roar Pro

      September 12th 2017 @ 5:07pm
      Ben Lewis said | September 12th 2017 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

      And d’you know what? Absolutely, utterly, unequivocally deserved. I will admit, I left a snarky comment about the penalty count after the Eels loss on the weekend but in the heat of the moment only; I didn’t think the referees were in anyway sub-par.. I’ve often been critical of refereeing in the NRL at times but that does not come from sour grapes (penalty count comments notwithstanding) or any conspiracy theory but rather because I find myself comparing it to the manner in which the refereeing association I am a part of referees games in the country. The only game I can remember where I genuinely thought the standard of refereeing was unacceptable was the Broncos/Titans final last year; one game out of hundreds.

      I will never condone the amount of BS that gets thrown at referees by coaches, players and spectators claiming that a bad call here or there cost their team the game; it’s a complete cop out. That argument has been done to death so I won’t keep beating the dead horse but all I’ll say is everybody calling the ref bashing a scourge on the game, or telling coaches to grow up is spot on correct.

    • September 12th 2017 @ 5:40pm
      Nodge said | September 12th 2017 @ 5:40pm | ! Report

      The refs will never get the respect of the players, coaches and fans until they stop talking to certain players and particularly Captains as if they are mates. The need to have a look at how union is reffed. They explain all decisions there and then and the captains thank them and walk away.

      • September 13th 2017 @ 10:00pm
        Lovey said | September 13th 2017 @ 10:00pm | ! Report

        All this controversy is just because of the etiquette? I don’t think refs calling players by number rather than name will make a difference.

        And to your second point, RL refs do try to explain decisions to sometimes unreasonable captains, but also need to allow the game to flow.

    • September 12th 2017 @ 6:08pm
      Mike Dugg said | September 12th 2017 @ 6:08pm | ! Report

      The referee system has to be completely revamped and they must look to Union for the right solution. The ref is treated with much more respect in that game compared to league. No coaching of players, no use of names other than captains, yes sir and no sirs, threats to bin and send off are actually carried out and not empty ones, back talk gets teams marched up the field immediately, continued infringements actually get punished etc etc. If they implement this kind of reffing system, it won’t take too long for the players and coaches to get their acts together. I also like the onfield ref being able to look at the big screen to help make a decision with assistance from a video ref. That system works much better than the league bunker one.

      • September 12th 2017 @ 6:34pm
        E-Meter said | September 12th 2017 @ 6:34pm | ! Report

        Totally agree. The refereeing system has created this decline in standards because they don’t enforce half the bloody rules. Coaches and supporters are always going to whinge about everything. That will never change. But if the refereeing system didn’t ignore half the indiscretions on the field they’d have a firm basis to put it back on the coaches and supporters- “where were we wrong”.

    • September 12th 2017 @ 6:33pm
      Garth Lambourn said | September 12th 2017 @ 6:33pm | ! Report

      The referees performance is not the cause of the games results but the reality is, they are well below the standard we should expect. Crowd numbers down 33% on first week finals last year. The footy is great. The refs performances are not. The system they operate within is just too complicated as we try to make the game perfect. It is the Grants and Greenburgs of the NRL who should shoulder the blame as they are allowing the constant changes to occur. If Todd Greenburg thinks there is no issue, he is on another planet. People vote with their feet. Look at the Swans crowd and look at the NRLs.

      • September 12th 2017 @ 10:38pm
        Rob said | September 12th 2017 @ 10:38pm | ! Report

        Crowd numbers are down because a large proportion of NSW supporters are fickle and sore losers that can’t stand the fact that Queensland, the Storm and teams outside of the traditional Sydney clubs are winning on a more consistent basis.

        • September 12th 2017 @ 10:51pm
          mickyo said | September 12th 2017 @ 10:51pm | ! Report

          Wrong, crowds are down in Sydney because even though thousands of free tickets were flooded around Sydneysiders just don’t give a stuff about RL.

          If your post is correct, then how do you explain the tv viewing stats in Sydney in somewhat of a free fall ?.

          It has nothing to do with sour grapes about the Broncos or the Storm.

          But keep the excuses coming.

      • September 13th 2017 @ 7:36am
        Brendon said | September 13th 2017 @ 7:36am | ! Report

        I have to disagree, I don’t think the refs are the reason crowd numbers are done, and I think its much simpler to establish why.

        Casual fans don’t go to NRL games, its cold, its expensive and its never that easy to get to. They watch free to air, which shows greater covereage of a game, better views and is more comfortable.

        The die hard fans want to see every game, so they typically have foxtel or Telstra NRL live app, both of which are cheaper than ticket prices. They get a better view, and whilst they wont have the same atmosphere, they too know it will be more comfortable, will allow for better viewing and analysis of the game, and will have a better environment (because we all known NRL live right now is crap unless you live in Brisbane or Melbourne).

        Frankly, watching from home is more comfortable, warmer, cheaper and convenient than going to a game.

        • September 13th 2017 @ 1:45pm
          Joel said | September 13th 2017 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

          Let’s not forget the daily telegraph taking constant pot shots at players. Sure doesn’t help.

    • September 12th 2017 @ 8:13pm
      Oingo Boingo said | September 12th 2017 @ 8:13pm | ! Report

      What a fantastic money maker ….
      Instruct the officials to underperform, then fine the coaches for criticising.
      Greenburg is smarter than I thought.

      • September 14th 2017 @ 9:27am
        Paddy said | September 14th 2017 @ 9:27am | ! Report


    • September 14th 2017 @ 9:28am
      Paddy said | September 14th 2017 @ 9:28am | ! Report

      Officials make critical mistakes and coaches are meant to stay quiet or cop a fine. This game has problems.

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