Hey coaches, the referees didn’t cost you your season

Lachlan Jeffery Roar Pro

By Lachlan Jeffery, Lachlan Jeffery is a Roar Pro

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52 Have your say

    No team is happy when they are beaten. Every coach has their complaints with the result, especially in finals footy.

    Obviously, there were some controversial decisions made in each of the games, but at the end of the day, a good team should be able to overcome any bad decisions.

    There is no need for coaches to come out and blame the officials for their loss. Trent Barrett and Shane Flanagan should be hanging their heads in shame. Both their sides were outclassed and chose to place blame for their defeats on the referees and their controversial decisions.

    The problem is so bad that NRL CEO Todd Greenberg had to tell the coaches to stop their bloody whinging.

    Trent Barrett should be proud of what his Sea Eagles have achieved in 2017. Most pundits had Manly finishing in the bottom four but they far exceeded expectations, finishing sixth.

    Their season came to an end on Saturday night via a 22-10 loss to the Penrith Panthers in a game featuring some controversial decisions by the bunker.

    The first of those decisions was the overturning of a try against Dylan Walker for offside, due to him failing to have both feet behind the kicker.

    The bunker call has since been backed up by referees’ boss Tony Archer as well as Greenberg and I agree with them.

    Following that was the overturning of a try against Akuila Uate due to a knock-on, a seemingly obvious decision that the bunker got correct.

    The third and most contentious was the awarding of a try to Tyrone Peachey when the bunker had insufficient evidence to determine whether Peachey had touched the ball with his hand.

    Upon further inspection from multiple camera angles, it does appear as though the ball did not touch Peachey’s hand, and perhaps the movement of his finger was just the angle his hand was at, from that camera angle.

    Like the call against Walker, this was later confirmed by Archer and Greenberg. The evidence for all three calls prove that Trent Barrett had no reason to blame the officials for the loss.

    To suggest “it’s cost us our year,” is pathetic. The players should hold themselves accountable for their season coming to an end and no one else.

    All signs pointed to a Cronulla Sharks’ victory on Sunday afternoon against the Cowboys. The Cowboys had only won one of their last six matches (against 15th placed Wests Tigers) and travelled down to Sydney without several big-name stars, including both co-captains and arguably the best player in the game in Johnathan Thurston.

    Not only that, but the Cowboys hadn’t won at Allianz Stadium since 2010, including five finals.

    Like the previous game, there were some controversial calls, such as the knock-on against Andrew Fifita, but any mistakes the referees made seemed to balance out.

    Two of the biggest calls that went against the Sharks were the James Maloney sin bin and the Paul Gallen knock on. Shane Flanagan made the outrageous claim that Maloney shouldn’t have been sin binned, in spite of the obvious fact that he prevented a player from getting to the ball in a try-scoring opportunity.

    Paul Gallen Cronulla Sharks NRL Rugby League Finals 2017

    (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

    If Flanagan doesn’t think that was a professional foul, he clearly hasn’t watched any games at all this year because that has been a sin bin offence all season.

    As for Gallen’s knock-on in the closing stages, it was a loose carry and he had no control over it.

    Flanagan blamed these, as well as approximately half a dozen other decisions as to why the Sharks were beaten. But a look at the stats shows that the Sharks had 43 per cent of possession, completed at 60 per cent (compared to the Cowboys 80 per cent), made 17 errors to 10, missed 34 tackles to 15 and conceded 11 penalties to five This is why the Sharks lost.

    It wasn’t because of any decisions made by the referees. The fact they only got beaten by one point was amazing with those stats. There was no reason for Shane Flanagan to complain. Besides, his words in 2013 were “these things happen.”

    Todd Greenburg did the sensible thing on Monday. He came out in a press conference, backed his referees and told the coaches to grow up and stop their bloody whinging (not in those exact words).

    Hopefully, these coaches receive the full brunt of the fines that were promised a few years ago for complaining about the referees, because the referees didn’t cost any teams their seasons.

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    The Crowd Says (52)

    • September 13th 2017 @ 5:47am
      realist said | September 13th 2017 @ 5:47am | ! Report

      Sorry Lachlan, however I think you are pathetic with your obvious dislike of Manly & Cronulla standing out in your article. You, like many other so called experts, have singled out Barrett & Flannagan for something that has been prevalent all year with most other coaches spraying the refs & bunker. Why single out these two? I guess Ricky Stuart’s rants this year are tame compared to the former? How about Bellamy’s rant or Bennett’s rant or McGuire’s rants……..oh but hold on they’re not Manly or Cronulla………Everyone is entitled to an opinion & you have every right to yours, however if you go down the path you have then don’t stop at Barrett & Flannagan…………….also just because Greenberg & Archer have said that the calls were correct doesn’t mean they were. There have been many real experts who have watched the replays of each call & most are inconclusive. Greenberg says that the coaches should grow up………..he is the one that should grow up & stop carrying on like he’s the Messiah of rugby league. He & his so called visionaries have turned the NRL into a farce. Greenberg should look in his own back yard before spruiking his garbage all over the media & abusing his powers to condemn coaches who have a right to an opinion as has he. No wonder the game has gone to s%&t.He, his referees & his bunker are the sole cause of the problems rugby league faces.

      • September 13th 2017 @ 7:25am
        qwetzen said | September 13th 2017 @ 7:25am | ! Report

        Your nick is truly ironic…

      • September 13th 2017 @ 7:59am
        Wild Eagle said | September 13th 2017 @ 7:59am | ! Report

        Maloney has played in two of the most important games so far this year.

        In SOO 2 the QLD defenders repeatedly blocked and harassed and Bear hugged , ( hello Darius Boyd) the NSW chasers. How many penalties or sin bins? none.

        In the Sharks game , Luke Lewis was blocked three times as he was chasing a kick , yes that’s right no penalties or bins.

        Maloney blocks a Cows runner once and is binned and penalised.

        As a grown adult I won’t be told by anyone that this lack of consistancy is not a massive problem and may well of cost Maloney a series win and a finals win.

        I also argue that a Maloney forward pass in the 2013 GF may well have given him an unfair GF win.

        As the Realist says what about the other coaches who during the year suspect that they were denied wins.?

        It becomes folklore to declare that Thurston was robbed in two finals by the Eagles and Sharks and nobody seems to be saying if he was good enough he would have won anyway.

        The hypocricy is just mind blowing. Ref and Bunker mistakes are different to player mistakes, one effects the outcome of a game and one doesn’t.. That is just bloody as funny as hell.

        I accept fully that people don’t like whingers but to deny that the Whinge is always wrong is ludicrous.

        Wait till a GF is decided by a wrong call in the last 3 seconds of the game. Anyone who starts rabbiting on about the losing team not being good enough really needs to have a good look at themselves.

        So what if coaches are also hypocritical, it doesn’t alter the facts.

        • September 13th 2017 @ 12:57pm
          AGordon said | September 13th 2017 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

          So Ben Smith dropping the ball in extra time the GF a couple of years ago didn’t cost his side the game, Wild Eagle? Not sure how you can blame the refs for that???

          • September 13th 2017 @ 3:39pm
            Wild Eagle said | September 13th 2017 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

            I don’t know that case and I don’t understand your question. I have just stated I think that anyone who thinks it is only players who can cost a team a win but not refs are crazy. Just have a look that is what they are saying and that is what they are doing.

            If Ben Smith has cost Parra a GF win with a mistake then of course a ref can do the same thing but why do so many deny it?

        • September 14th 2017 @ 4:56am
          Rob said | September 14th 2017 @ 4:56am | ! Report

          Blocking is legal. Defenders can position their bodies between the attacker and the ball whilst the ball is in flight as long as they are moving backwards with the flight of the ball. Defenders can shepherd a ball behind them over the side line or dead ball line in the same manner, by positioning themselves between the ball and an attacker. Defenders are also entitled to stand their ground when facing a player chasing a ball behind the defensive line. They don’t have to get out of an attackers way.
          Blocking is illegal. Defenders can’t grab, push or stick out their arms or legs to stop an attacking player getting to the ball.(Maloney). Defenders can’t deliberately move across the path of an attacking player in a forward or sideways action to stop them getting to the ball.
          What Maloney did by hanging his arm out is a penalty everyday of the week. Was it deliberate? Yes. Was there a possibility of Lowe getting to the ball in a try scoring position? Yes. Sin bin offence? Yes.

    • Roar Rookie

      September 13th 2017 @ 5:52am
      josh said | September 13th 2017 @ 5:52am | ! Report

      Yes they did.

      However why refs are protected, I don’t know. They are professional, like the players and coaches. Poor performance should be scrutinised. Newspapers go to town on players and coaches. And yet people still want to be them.

      • Roar Guru

        September 13th 2017 @ 12:33pm
        The Barry said | September 13th 2017 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

        I agree Josh.

        But there’s a difference between scrutinising performance and blowing up deluxe in a press conference with a pre-prepared list of 50/50 calls that went against you while ignoring the fact that your team scored two tries directly off the back of 50/50 calls.

        If Flanagan’s gripe that these 50/50s cost him the game is true, then it’s equally true that they were only still in the game because of 50/50s.

        All for objective analysis and critique. Salty post match refs fault is a blight on the game, the individual and their club.

        As a neutral fan there was not a single howler all weekend.

        • September 13th 2017 @ 4:02pm
          Wild Eagle said | September 13th 2017 @ 4:02pm | ! Report

          Barry if the Sharks got less of the decisions go their way in a close game then it is likely to have influenced the end result.

          The NRL acknowledged that Luke Lewis was blocked 3 times and no penalty or sin bin and Maloney did something similar once and was penalised and binned.

          Forget about the issue of salty press confrences for a minute, I would be livid as a coach to see these rulings.

          I suggest if they treated Maloney here the same way as the others that we have a different result.

          I don’t follow either team.

          • Roar Guru

            September 13th 2017 @ 6:03pm
            The Barry said | September 13th 2017 @ 6:03pm | ! Report

            What does ‘less of the decisions’ mean?

            Cronulla got two tries directly off the back of 50/50 calls. They finished well in front of the ledger. The Leutele decision was the worst one I saw all weekend.

            Of course referees are going to influence the end result. It’s their job.

            • September 13th 2017 @ 11:58pm
              Roberto said | September 13th 2017 @ 11:58pm | ! Report

              The Leutele one is eerily similar to Slaters 2pnt penalty. Both raise from ball being planted, which is against the rules. Supposed to stand up first before planting the ball.
              Vunivalu gets a penalty every game for this, Smith/Bellamy surely have him practice this at training for their mandatory leg up penalty downfield.

              • September 14th 2017 @ 4:53am
                Rob said | September 14th 2017 @ 4:53am | ! Report

                It’s infuriating watching players plant the ball before getting to their feet and then receiving a penalty for falling over or losing the ball.

      • September 13th 2017 @ 3:47pm
        Wild Eagle said | September 13th 2017 @ 3:47pm | ! Report

        Whinging makes someone automatically wrong according to many. I suspect one of the next few games will be decided by the refs/bunker and a mature acknowledge of this would be the first step in helping to fix it.

        A blatant forward pass in the last minute of the game which the bunker can’t rule on, clearly can wrongly decide a game. It can’t be denied but it will be. ……Talk about growing up!

        • Roar Guru

          September 13th 2017 @ 5:03pm
          Rellum said | September 13th 2017 @ 5:03pm | ! Report

          No, whinging just makes you immature.

          Blaming the refs after a loss makes you immature. Even if those calls you have gone your way it is still immature to blame the ref and coaches especially should not do it.

          We want refs to be better, but analyzing their performances in a calm manor in a controlled environment is the answer. Subjecting the, to constant abuse and ridicule for every decision damages the game as a whole. The ref bashing has become a blight on the game that will do real damage in the long term to all levels. You can see it all ready.

          • Roar Pro

            September 13th 2017 @ 6:04pm
            Kurt S said | September 13th 2017 @ 6:04pm | ! Report

            Well said, Rellum. There is a simple and old adage that goes something like this: It is not what you say. It is how you say it. And to have Gallen back up his coach in such a manner shows that he is still far short of where an ambassador for the game should be.

            The refs have a difficult job to do. If they continue to be a verbal punching bag for every fan, team official and player I find it very hard to believe it will be a career many will consider pursuing in future.

            By all means, Officials and players can voice their concerns. But they should be doing it with the respect and considered tone that is worthy of people in their professional position.

          • September 14th 2017 @ 9:56am
            Larry1950 said | September 14th 2017 @ 9:56am | ! Report

            What if the nrl suspends half of Flanagan’s fine, makes him do a referee course & officiate at a junior level for all of 2018. That’s the definition of irony. Bet he won’t agree to that!

        • Roar Guru

          September 13th 2017 @ 6:04pm
          The Barry said | September 13th 2017 @ 6:04pm | ! Report

          Every team has 79 minutes before the last minute of the game to determine the result.

    • September 13th 2017 @ 6:55am
      Busty McCracken said | September 13th 2017 @ 6:55am | ! Report

      Maybe the refs are protected because there’s a hell of a lot more people in this world striving to be a footy player than a ref. Allow open slather on refs and one day we won’t have many in the game ironically enough lowering the overall standard of refereeing.

      I’m a manly fan but this article is on the money. It makes sense for the author to bring these two coaches up as it is the hot topic in league at the moment and i would have much preferred barret congratulate how well manly has gone this season than go on a tirade.

      • Roar Rookie

        September 13th 2017 @ 7:33am
        Matthew Pearce said | September 13th 2017 @ 7:33am | ! Report

        But you don’t understand, how are you meant to cope with losses if you can’t just blame the refs?

        Given the Fifitas’ incident, Sharks should be the last club getting itself in this situation. Something tells me there’s a link here though…

      • September 13th 2017 @ 9:55pm
        Nico said | September 13th 2017 @ 9:55pm | ! Report

        Refs are already most scrutinised people in the game. You normalise ref bagging and you eventually normalise physical assaults as well (you might not see it at NRL level but it’s there on parks and fields every weekend). Average referee income in NRL is approx. $100k with a professional pool of around 50, so when you combine limited opportunities/pay/verbal/physical abuse, any wonder why many of the best refs will pursue other careers as as a result

    • September 13th 2017 @ 7:23am
      qwetzen said | September 13th 2017 @ 7:23am | ! Report

      A quick and trivial thought:

      re the offside ruling against Walker.

      I wonder why the TV broadcasters or the Bunker don’t use that supered on straight line that the NFL uses to determine if a player is offside?

      • Roar Guru

        September 13th 2017 @ 8:46am
        Nat said | September 13th 2017 @ 8:46am | ! Report

        NFL is played on synthetic turf with a purely flat field because they need those reference points for each individual down. A rugby League field is curved for drainage so a direct flat line superimposed from an angled camera isn’t absolutely accurate to the convex of the field – and every field is slightly different.

        • Roar Pro

          September 13th 2017 @ 5:55pm
          Kurt S said | September 13th 2017 @ 5:55pm | ! Report

          Yes, I remember as a kid seeing the old Lang Park ground close up and it absolutely surprised me with the different relative levels of the surface from centre field to the side line. It was massive.

          I haven’t been up close an personal to a quality footy field for a while but if they still have the rake for run off, a super imposed line on the video simply would not work unless each field was plotted and mapped in both directions. From that plot of the individual field, a reference line could be created with the correct arc.

          This would need to be completed for every field and re-plotted anytime there was any significant change to the field profile.

    • Roar Rookie

      September 13th 2017 @ 7:29am
      Matthew Pearce said | September 13th 2017 @ 7:29am | ! Report

      In light of the negative feedback you’re getting here, I’d say thank you for vocalising what most of us are saying. People really need to get some perspective, at the end of the day it’s just footy, it ain’t life and death.

      • September 13th 2017 @ 8:09am
        Wild Eagle said | September 13th 2017 @ 8:09am | ! Report

        People can chose their own perspective they don’t need clowns like you telling them what to do.

        When I see middle intoxicated middle aged people jumping up and down like they are Sally Pearson winning a gold medal, because a horse has just run past a post and won a cup in Melbourne, I don’t feel a need to alter their perspective just because it means nothing to me.

        • Roar Rookie

          September 13th 2017 @ 8:21am
          Matthew Pearce said | September 13th 2017 @ 8:21am | ! Report

          Rugby League doesn’t mean “nothing” to me, but I don’t hinge so much of my emotional investment into a game that I’m still emotionally blinded by it days afterwards.

          You’re free to choose your own perspective but that doesn’t mean it’s sensible or logical.

          • September 13th 2017 @ 8:30am
            realist said | September 13th 2017 @ 8:30am | ! Report

            You clearly have no sense or logic mate. Go away & post elsewhere if rugby league means nothing to you.You clearly have no idea!!

            • Roar Rookie

              September 13th 2017 @ 9:00am
              Matthew Pearce said | September 13th 2017 @ 9:00am | ! Report

              That’d be funnier if it wasn’t a poorly constructed ad hominem.

              As it stands it’s actually a little sad.

              • September 13th 2017 @ 10:12am
                realist said | September 13th 2017 @ 10:12am | ! Report

                Poorly constructed ad hominem……….maybe. You make a comment yet you say rugby league means nothing to you?? Then why post on here?

              • Roar Rookie

                September 13th 2017 @ 10:16am
                Matthew Pearce said | September 13th 2017 @ 10:16am | ! Report

                “Rugby League doesn’t mean “nothing” to me, but I don’t hinge so much of my emotional investment into a game that…”

                I don’t understand how you could come to the conclusion that you’ve made when my comment says the literal opposite.

              • September 14th 2017 @ 4:07am
                realist said | September 14th 2017 @ 4:07am | ! Report

                My apologies Matthew…………..i misinterpreted your post. My mind was elsewhere at the time. My whole ‘beef’ against these articles is that 2 coaches have been singled out / hung out to dry as though they’re the only ones that have come out after matches & ranted on about the referees & the bunker. As for the NRL administration, i hold them totally responsible for the farce that the NRL has become. They are not addressing the problem at hand, rather covering up their own inadequacies & using their power to punish those who, on most occasions, have reason to complain.

            • September 13th 2017 @ 10:16am
              R N said | September 13th 2017 @ 10:16am | ! Report

              Are you serious with this comment..?

              Have you got any suggestions to where Matthew should post his comments/opinions on this article?

              • Roar Rookie

                September 13th 2017 @ 10:18am
                Matthew Pearce said | September 13th 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

                I reckon I could go onto the Fox Sports page on facebook. Nowhere more constructive than there.

              • September 13th 2017 @ 10:43am
                R N said | September 13th 2017 @ 10:43am | ! Report

                To clarify…

                Realist.. are you serious with this comment..?

                Have you got any suggestions to where Matthew should post his comments/opinions on this article?

                Just realised my comment might have looked like a go at Matthew which it is not… I have actually found his comments over the last few days to pretty sensible!

              • Roar Rookie

                September 13th 2017 @ 10:53am
                Matthew Pearce said | September 13th 2017 @ 10:53am | ! Report

                Cheers mate.

                I didn’t interpret it as having a go at me, shouldn’t worry there.

                Think it’s the classic situation where people have no rebuttal so they just give up.

        • September 13th 2017 @ 11:00am
          Big Daddy said | September 13th 2017 @ 11:00am | ! Report

          Wild eagle,
          Have another Valium.
          It might help you suck it up.

        • September 13th 2017 @ 2:29pm
          Patrick Logan said | September 13th 2017 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

          Your criticism is unwanted

    • September 13th 2017 @ 8:22am
      Wild Eagle said | September 13th 2017 @ 8:22am | ! Report

      People can chose their own perspective they don’t need clowns like you telling them what to do.

      When I see middle intoxicated middle aged people jumping up and down like they are Sally Pearson winning a gold medal, because a horse has just run past a post and won a cup in Melbourne, I don’t feel a need to alter their perspective just because it means nothing to me.

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