If refereeing is broken, how do we fix it?

Mary Konstantopoulos Columnist

By Mary Konstantopoulos, Mary Konstantopoulos is a Roar Expert

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    Rugby league, we have a problem.

    On Friday night at Southern Cross Group Stadium there was a costly error made by the officials in the game between the Cronulla Sharks and the Canberra Raiders. The error has left many members of the rugby league community feeling very angry.

    The Raiders ended up losing the game 28-24 and Raiders fans must accept that their teams season is over.

    At the point in the game when the error was made, the Raiders were trailing by four points.

    They had been down by 10 points but had started to mount a comeback and were beginning to dominate despite trailing on the scoreboard.

    Then, everything changed when there was a mix up between the touch judge and the main referee which led to a try being scored by the Sharks.

    During a Sharks set, touch judge Ricky McFalane raised his flag. Play should have stopped right there. But instead, referee, Gerard Sutton put the whistle to his lips, but did not blow it.

    Seeing this take place, many of the Raiders players stopped, despite Sutton then deciding to allow play to continue and this left space for Sione Katoa to score a try.

    When the sequence was sent up to the video referee to look at an earlier knock on, the bunker ‘failed’ to see the touch judge raise his flag and sent it back as a try.

    Since then, referees boss Bernard Sutton has said there was an unfortunate miscommunication between the match officials and the wrong decision was made.

    But where does this acknowledgement leave the Raiders? It leaves them without the two points and their hopes of finals in tatters.

    Three refs in the NRL's video bunker

    The Bunker has come under fire for some bad decisions. (The Roar)

    It also gives credence to every fan and media personality that has criticised the referees throughout the year for poor decision making.

    Some people have defended the decision, suggesting that the Raiders should have played to the whistle. This I think is unfair.

    For me, the touchie raising his flag is exactly the same as the referee blowing his whistle.

    We teach kids to play the whistle, that is effectively what the Raiders were doing. Josh Hodgson said as much in the post-match press conference, as soon as players see the whistle at a referee’s lips, they instinctively stop play.

    At this point, excuses are inappropriate. That moment needs to be acknowledged for what it was – an exceptionally disappointing and incorrect decision.

    I found Ricky Stuart to be quite impressive in the press conference afterward. I had my popcorn ready for an almighty blow up, but very respectfully, he did not blame the referee or the touch judge for the loss.

    He did question the decision though to institute a ‘crackdown’ at the start of the year and then the decision to change approach midway through the year.

    Stuart is referring to Todd Greenberg coming out midway through the year and asking referees not to ‘nitpick’ as much seemingly in reaction to the number of penalties being awarded early in the year.

    Raiders coach Ricky Stuart

    Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

    This is something I absolutely agree with.

    At the start of the year, the crackdown was something I was absolutely behind. We saw an improvement in the ruck and teams finally beginning to play by the rules again.

    The difference was highlighted to me when I was watching the Denver Test earlier this year and saw how scrappy the play the ball was.

    It was disappointing for me to see Todd cave earlier this year and we’ve since seen teams begin to revert to their old, ill-disciplined ways. I noticed it yesterday in the game between the Melbourne Storm and the New Zealand Warriors.

    Back to the Raiders game.

    After the try had been awarded, I myself felt very disappointed. But I was and am still left wondering what should be done about it. There are several options.

    1) Remove Bernard Sutton and Tony Archer immediately. Sutton was employed by Greenberg and Archer by Sutton. They have overseen the regime this year and are directly responsible for the way the game is being policed.

    Interestingly, when these errors are made, Sutton apologises and then we move on. Is this appropriate anymore?

    2) We get rid of the Bunker at the end of the year. This is an interesting one. People have complained that we use technology too much in our game now. But for me, if the technology is there, we should use it.

    In the past, when we didn’t have the technology poor calls were also made. Without the bunker, there would need to be a shift in fan mindset and they would need to accept incorrect decisions if referee’s are being asked to make them on the spot.

    In this scenario our referees also need to feel empowered to make decisions without experiencing tremendous backlash from the general public.

    3) Do we allow the Bunker to begin making decisions on everything. It incenses me that the Bunker is unable to rule on forward passes.

    Additionally, I am still unsure on how the Bunker missed the flag being raised the other night, despite the many camera angles on show.

    4) Do we wait for the end of the year to make a decision to prevent further disruption to this season?

    5) We accept that referees are human beings and that incorrect decisions are made.

    Incorrect decisions are made throughout games, it’s just that some errors made by the referees are more costly than others. When our players have perfect games, then we can expect the same from our officials.

    It’s exceptionally unfortunate what happened to the Raiders, but I also refuse to overdo it. The Raiders season is over because they failed to close out several close games earlier in this season.

    They have had plenty of opportunities throughout the year and in some circumstances luck goes your way and in other circumstances it doesn’t.

    But just because it wasn’t this game that cost the Raiders their season, it doesn’t make it an easier pill to swallow.

    Most are in agreement that what happened on Friday night was unacceptable. But how on earth do we fix it?

    Mary Konstantopoulos
    Mary Konstantopoulos

    Mary Konstantopoulos is a lawyer, sports advocate and proud owner and founder of the Ladies Who empire, including Ladies who League, Ladies who Legspin, Ladies who Lineout and Ladies who Leap. You can find her podcast on iTunes and find her on Twitter @mary__kaye and @ladieswholeague.

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    The Crowd Says (106)

    • July 23rd 2018 @ 7:25am
      Boz said | July 23rd 2018 @ 7:25am | ! Report

      Nice article Mary.

      There are several things I would do:

      1. Get rid of the bunker. In the NRL’s never ending pursuit of perfection from the referees, they have in fact made everyone less tolerant of any error they make. It kills the flow of the game and has more negatives than positives.

      2. Go back to one referee. We saw in the World Cup how good it can be.

      3. Take the microphone off the refs. I don’t need to hear them. Hand signals will suffice. Also take away their ear piece too. How the hell can they concentrate on the game with somebody talking to them all the time?

      4. Make the touch judges do something. Take the mic off them too. If you see something, put your flag up and run onto the field.

      5. Bring back the in goal judges. They often have a much better view of grounding or dead ball line play.

      • July 23rd 2018 @ 8:02am
        Richard POWELL said | July 23rd 2018 @ 8:02am | ! Report

        Yep. Agree with all that Boz. However I think it’s too much to expect because it will take 5 years for Greenberg and co to read it and understand..

        Gould reckons he can fix it. Give him a go. He’s not my favourite person; however he has the guts to put his reputation on the line, which is more than Greenberg, Sutton and Beattie are prepared to do.

        His first act will be to remove the ear phones from the officials; after he’s sacked the bunker and brought in a fine system for officials who make howlers.

        • Roar Guru

          July 23rd 2018 @ 9:30am
          spruce moose said | July 23rd 2018 @ 9:30am | ! Report

          You don’t get who he is. Gould is a serial whinger about the game, that’s his schtick. Gould is never prepared to put his reputation on the line.

          Offer him a real chance for change in a senior NRL role and one of two things would happen

          1. He’d immediately come up with an excuse along the lines of “that’s not my thing, I don’t want to be involved in league admin, I’m a club/grassroots man. I offer more outside than inside.”
          2. He surprises all, accepts the job and then fails when he realises that he actually hasn’t a jot of any experience at corporate management.

          Greenburg is doing a terrible job, but replacing someone who would be undeniably worse…

        • July 23rd 2018 @ 9:52am
          tim said | July 23rd 2018 @ 9:52am | ! Report

          Since he (or any other club official in history) doesn’t fine players for knock-ons, etc, I can’t imagine him fining referees for errors.

    • July 23rd 2018 @ 7:25am
      Gray Hand said | July 23rd 2018 @ 7:25am | ! Report

      The answer is 5.

      We should all grow up and stop embarrassing ourselves every time a 50/50 call goes against our team by throwing tantrums like a spoiled toddler who just dropped his ice cream.

      • Roar Guru

        July 23rd 2018 @ 8:42am
        The Barry said | July 23rd 2018 @ 8:42am | ! Report

        Yeah I agree.

        In the last six minutes of the win against Bulldogs in the game that kept their season alive, the Raiders were on the right end of four calls that ranged from 50/50s to downright wrong. If Ricky fronted the press conference that night and said “we got lucky with some calls tonight” I could take his blowing up every other week.

        There’s a couple of strange things about this:

        – Are tough judges supposed to signal knock ons by raising their flag?
        – In 40 years of playing and watching footy I’ve never heard “play to the touch judges flag” before it’s always been “play the whistle”
        – I’m pretty sure refs are allowed to over rule touch judges.

        But the main one is what was the bunker supposed to do?

        I think the tough judge got the knock on wrong. I think (but not 100%) that he did the wrong thing by raising his flag.

        On replay I don’t think there was a knock on. Is the expectation that the bunker should make an incorrect call just because the touchie made an incorrect call and because the Raiders stopped playing.

        The critical question in all of this which I don’t think has been answered is – If the bunker don’t think it’s a knock on and otherwise a fair try what is the correct call for them to make?

        Unfortunately the nonsense explanation that the bunker didn’t see the flag, as Souvalis says treats us all as fools and only makes a confusing situation worse.

        • Roar Guru

          July 23rd 2018 @ 10:07am
          Cadfael said | July 23rd 2018 @ 10:07am | ! Report

          The ref can over rule the touchie if he comes onto the field with his flag raised to make a report. The sideline is the touchies domain. If he raises his flag, the referee has to stop play and play the player going out. If the touchie makes a mistake, tough. It can be “corrected”.

          • Roar Guru

            July 23rd 2018 @ 11:59am
            The Barry said | July 23rd 2018 @ 11:59am | ! Report

            Fair enough but the touchie wasn’t making a ruling about the sideline so a) the ref can over rule him and b) he probably made a mistake in raising his flag – I assume that’s not how he communicates with the reef about a knock on?

            • Roar Guru

              July 23rd 2018 @ 12:12pm
              BA Sports said | July 23rd 2018 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

              How do the players know the touchie isn’t making a ruling about the sideline? For the players infield it is reasonable for them to see a touchie’s flag go up and assume a foot or ball has touched the line because a touchie never raises a flag for a knock on and there isn’t an active player who would have seen a player run on a field with flag up to raise an issue with a ref – the way it was done in the 80’s.

              Sutton has basically blamed the touchie for not telling the referee that he put his flag up and that if that had happened the referee would have addressed it…. Of course we know the relation of the referee to the head of officials, so really that is just creating a scapegoat.

            • Roar Guru

              July 23rd 2018 @ 2:15pm
              Cadfael said | July 23rd 2018 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

              The touchie makes a knock on movement with his hands. The flag in general play is only to show the ball is over the sideline/player with the ball gone out or to raise the flag and come onto the field to report foul play.

            • July 23rd 2018 @ 9:24pm
              JVGO said | July 23rd 2018 @ 9:24pm | ! Report

              I’d say the touchie raised his flag to mark the line of the knock on and immediately dropped it again when he realised the ref didn’t blow his whistle. Kotoa was still running backwards when he dropped his flag.

        • July 23rd 2018 @ 11:04am
          Farqueue said | July 23rd 2018 @ 11:04am | ! Report

          You have to watch press conferences a bit more Barry…. Ricky did come out after a game the raiders won and said luck plays a vital role in winning….he stated that he could only say that after a win because everyone ( you included) would say he’s whinging if he said it after a loss.
          You can’t win a comp without a few 50/50 calls going your way at important moments.

          • Roar Guru

            July 23rd 2018 @ 11:56am
            The Barry said | July 23rd 2018 @ 11:56am | ! Report

            If that’s the one I’m thinking of he was still complaining about dud calls that went against the Raiders but the Raiders won anyway.

            That’s completely different to what I’m talking about.

            • July 23rd 2018 @ 12:38pm
              Forty Twenty said | July 23rd 2018 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

              I’d hate the coach who has just watched his team cop a hiding from the ref and co start every press conference with a disclaimer about his team getting lucky three weeks ago or in the first half or three years ago. It would be as boring as hell and useless. If the journos want to ask that question let them and maybe we can comment if a coach denies that it ever falls his way.

              I’d rather ( correctly ) assume that every coach knows they have luck as well but it doesn’t mean they aren’t able to comment when they cop the rough end of the prawn.

              They aren’t guilty of something they haven’t said.

              • Roar Guru

                July 23rd 2018 @ 12:46pm
                The Barry said | July 23rd 2018 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

                Thats a big part of a problem right there.

                When we get a good call it’s “swings and roundabouts” but when we get a dud one it’s fine to shake your fist and moan.

          • July 24th 2018 @ 12:37pm
            Mushi said | July 24th 2018 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

            Personally I’m with 5.

            On your first 4.

            1. Will be popular, and prove nrl fans hypocrites when we hammer referees for making the same mistakes. How many times have we called for, and gotten, the head of the refs boss? Has it ever fixed anything? Nope because we don’t understand relative value.
            2 /3 was it deliberate irony to juxtapose the expansion and removal of the bunker? It highlights the core issue – NRL fans are the worst whingers in sport. No matter which way we go with 2/3 the complaint vacuum will be eagerly filled by the other side like a lieutenant stepping in for a fallen front man for a Colombian cartel.
            4 Any change late does make a mockery of the ladder. But then Greenberg has shown form in this regard.

            But that aside from that, there are 3 aspects to improving refereeing.

            1. better capability for decision making
            2. better information
            3. Better algorithms for decisions

            Only 2/3 of the article really approach any part of that and only in a cursory way.

            Truth is we don’t have a solution for the rebuild but it won’t stop the villagers wanting to burn the house down

          • July 24th 2018 @ 12:40pm
            Mushi said | July 24th 2018 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

            Yep stand up bloke out Ricky. Never bailed a referee up at the hotel and abused him.

            That he is allowed to coach kind of exemplifies what rugby league stands for.

        • Roar Guru

          July 23rd 2018 @ 1:18pm
          spruce moose said | July 23rd 2018 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

          Interestingly, I don’t think there was conclusive evidence to overturn the on-field ruling of “no-try”.

          From my view, I thought the Cronulla player got a finger on the ball.

          • Roar Guru

            July 23rd 2018 @ 2:54pm
            The Barry said | July 23rd 2018 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

            But if you put yourself in the position of the bunker and think the Cronulla player didn’t touch the ball…what’s the correct decision?

            The touchie definitely made an error but is the bunker compounding the error by upholding the touchies incorrect decision or are they compounding the error more by allowing play to continue?

            There’s plenty of issues with the way the game is officiated and interpreted but I think this is more of a “one-in-a-million” chance of several systems falling over at once rather than some cataclysmic shortfall of the whole system.

            The position for the bunker is pretty difficult if they don’t think Ramien got a touch.

            Tim Gores article yesterday was don’t blame the touch judge but he’s the catalyst for everything going pear shaped by incorrectly signalling the knock on. It’s a pretty entry level error for someone in first grade. Without that it’s a regulation play.

            What do the touch judges even do any more? Mark where the ball goes out. That can be done with more accuracy from the bunker.

            • Roar Rookie

              July 23rd 2018 @ 3:42pm
              JOHNY BULLDOG said | July 23rd 2018 @ 3:42pm | ! Report

              Hey Baz,did you here the good news…Your man Rhyse Martin has signed on for another year!

              • Roar Guru

                July 23rd 2018 @ 4:50pm
                The Barry said | July 23rd 2018 @ 4:50pm | ! Report

                Great news mate!

                Hopefully we can lock him up for something more long term next year.

              • Roar Rookie

                July 23rd 2018 @ 7:26pm
                JOHNY BULLDOG said | July 23rd 2018 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

                I’m sure with more cap space something will be done bet that’s why it’s only for one year mate but he could have gone elsewhere for a lot more so I’m very very pleased 😃

        • July 23rd 2018 @ 9:47pm
          Chris Love said | July 23rd 2018 @ 9:47pm | ! Report

          Wait, I thought the touchiest flag was up for a forward pass in the play that the try was scored and they went to the bunker for an irrelevant knock on check. The bunker should hav never been used if the touchie and refs had done their job. Ref should have referred to the touchie before going up stairs. When he didn’t the touchie had an obligation to make him aware of it.

          • Roar Guru

            July 24th 2018 @ 6:55am
            The Barry said | July 24th 2018 @ 6:55am | ! Report

            Was it? Most of the commentary has been the touchie raised his flag for the Ramien “knock on”, It’s a pretty confusing situation. Are touchies supposed to signal forward passes by raising their flags? I thought they just called it to the refs.

            If the touchie was calling a forward pass and the refs went upstairs to check it that’s next level incompetence.

      • July 23rd 2018 @ 9:17am
        Fraser said | July 23rd 2018 @ 9:17am | ! Report

        We have a winner.

        Stop whinging everybody. It’s pathetic.

        • Roar Guru

          July 23rd 2018 @ 10:42am
          Emcie said | July 23rd 2018 @ 10:42am | ! Report

          Not yet, I don’t think we’ve reached the yearly “worst blunder I’ve ever seen” quota yet

          • Roar Guru

            July 24th 2018 @ 6:56am
            The Barry said | July 24th 2018 @ 6:56am | ! Report

            That was the Isaako “knock back” 😬

      • July 23rd 2018 @ 10:26am
        AGO74 said | July 23rd 2018 @ 10:26am | ! Report

        People aren’t happy these days unless there is something to be outraged about.

    • July 23rd 2018 @ 7:43am
      Justin Kearney said | July 23rd 2018 @ 7:43am | ! Report

      With two refs and a bunker we’ve set ourselves up to fail.
      The old adage ‘nobody’s perfect’ still holds. The more we try and rid the game of error the more critical we get when these systems don’t succeed.
      Officials are so scared of making mistakes now they make calls out of fear and have lost the ability to manage the game intuitively.

      • July 23rd 2018 @ 8:20am
        souvalis said | July 23rd 2018 @ 8:20am | ! Report

        Billy Harrigan says if the refs dont use the bunker,they are demerited..so as per usual/instructed Gerry uses it,and was let down..the non forward pass was called by Reynolds,and theyre not uncommon..just feel that Gerry S. is being far too harshly judged here when,he in fact did what refs are nurtured to do…the story fed back about the bunker not seeing the flag on review is an insult to each and every fans intelligence..how do you fix it ? Strip it right back,bomb the bunker and go with Coach Browns idea of captains challenge..

        • July 23rd 2018 @ 2:52pm
          Sru said | July 23rd 2018 @ 2:52pm | ! Report

          Captains challenge is great but… what happens when the refs get it wrong and you lose your review?

          You’re still reliant on someone in the bunker getting it right

          • Roar Guru

            July 24th 2018 @ 12:22pm
            The Barry said | July 24th 2018 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

            Exactly…then get three stinker calls that you or the refs have no chance to review because you’ve been rorted on your challenge

    • July 23rd 2018 @ 7:45am
      AGO74 said | July 23rd 2018 @ 7:45am | ! Report

      In 40 years of watching the game I’ve not seen circumstances like the touch judge mistake on Friday night. So for mine (despite the obvious error) I don’t think we should be focussing too much on that because it is such an outlier. It is not the norm. Also, Sorry Ricky – maybe if your team hadn’t have been down by 16 during that game and/or you hadn’t lost so many tight fixtures the flag incident would have been irrelevant instead of so seemingly influential.

      For mine the bigger issue is on forward passes – eg the forward pass a few minutes later which was not a forward pass. That cost Canberra a try as well. Yet, earlier in the game Canberra scored a try which included a forward pass in the movement which lead to it! A few weeks back Cronulla lost at home to Brisbane of a forward pass from the broncos.

      It is these types of actual “football” incidents that need to be rectified. Not the touchy incident.

      So how do we do that. I believe to help addresss this we have to go back to one referee and I do agree with Ricky in that too many voices on the refs ear leads to the ref doubting themselves.

      That said, even with an improved format mistakes will continue to happen – however our tolerance of these is so low that we feel the need to turn any such mistake into an “outrage”.

      • Roar Guru

        July 23rd 2018 @ 8:53am
        Adam said | July 23rd 2018 @ 8:53am | ! Report

        I agree fully. The touchie action was so far removed from anything I’ve ever seen before that it really needs to be taken as a completely isolated case.

      • Roar Guru

        July 23rd 2018 @ 10:13am
        Cadfael said | July 23rd 2018 @ 10:13am | ! Report

        The voices have to stop. The bunker should only speak to the ref when asked by the ref. Otherwise they need to shut up. No instructions, no nothing.

    • July 23rd 2018 @ 8:01am
      Paul said | July 23rd 2018 @ 8:01am | ! Report

      Mary,

      The bunker needs to stay but obviously needs fixing. People forget how many really bad decisions were made about tries before it’s inception and this was when we had additional in goal officials, etc. We need something similar to what they use in the NFL, where a match official and the head ref “walk through” the play in question under a hood, watching replays, etc, BUT the ref on the field makes the final decision, then conveys this to both captains.

      Sutton & Archer go, but who will replace them and what role should Greenburg have? Part of the problem has to be his interference, both positive & negative, across the season. I think he needs to take control of the refs for the rest of the year (as another recent article stated “the buck stops with him”), make sure they, coaches and players know what to expect and STOP dumping on refs.

      It’s too late this year to revert to refereeing all the rules but Greenburg needs to get the basics right next year. However he appoints has to make forward passes disappear and if this means they can be reviewed, great stuff. The ruck and offside play need to be cleaned up as well. Once these are cleaned up, the new guy can work on the rest.

      Greenburg also needs to come out swinging and work with the bobbleheads from 9 in particular to stop ref bashing. It kills the game as something fun to watch when Gould and co focus on a decision and bash it to death. How he sorts this out is up to him, but this trend is hurting the game almost as much as bad decisions

      • Roar Rookie

        July 23rd 2018 @ 10:26am
        Don said | July 23rd 2018 @ 10:26am | ! Report

        Your comment about the Ch9 commentary being overly against the current refereeing is apt.
        Then it’s just a simple job for Buzz and his mates to jump on board the crusade with the expert opinion of Gould, Johns and Sterling as the justification.

        I had the displeasure of watching the footy at a mates place on the weekend but made it home for the second half. What a stark difference!
        The Ch9 commentary was so negative and derisive of referee decisions to the point where you thought you shouldn’t bother watching.

        Fox didn’t shy away from commenting that a decision may have been incorrect but moved on without belabouring the point.
        They use half time and full time to give in depth opinions and critique rather than during the game.

        As much as I respected Johns as a player, I cannot stand his commentary anymore. He just continues on with Gould’s anti any NRL management or ref initiative.

        How “20/20 hindsight Gus” isn’t brought into line by Ch9 management is beyond me given the way he denigrates a product they have paid a fortune to show.
        And if anyone is wondering why the 20/20 Gus monicker? He continually says during broadcasts things like “I said before the game this would happen” but when you replay the game he has said something completely different before the game…

        Gus tipped the Broncos to win the 2016 premiership in his press column at the start of that year.
        Then after the Sharks won he wrote an article saying he had predicted the Sharks to win the comp before a ball was kicked off for the season…

        The bloke is not the RL sage he is made out to be and should not be trusted to be involved with anything within refereeing or the NRL.

        • Roar Guru

          July 23rd 2018 @ 10:40am
          spruce moose said | July 23rd 2018 @ 10:40am | ! Report

          100%. Only a fool would think he’s on the money.

        • July 23rd 2018 @ 11:08am
          Farqueue said | July 23rd 2018 @ 11:08am | ! Report

          You obviously don’t listen to Warren Smith on fox….he carries on all game about something he disagrees with.

          • Roar Rookie

            July 23rd 2018 @ 11:22am
            Don said | July 23rd 2018 @ 11:22am | ! Report

            I only watch BRL on Fox.
            At his worst Warren Smith is no where near the level of Ch9 ref bashing.

          • July 23rd 2018 @ 11:41am
            Paul said | July 23rd 2018 @ 11:41am | ! Report

            he’s rapidly becoming a bobblehead as well. I also dislike use of Americanisms – finishing nearly every sentence with “right here” or “right there”. It might be okay if he was commentating on the NFL but not the NRL.

            • July 23rd 2018 @ 12:47pm
              Peter Mc said | July 23rd 2018 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

              Not to mention the use of ZIP instead of Zero or Nil.

        • July 23rd 2018 @ 11:37am
          Paul said | July 23rd 2018 @ 11:37am | ! Report

          Don, you made the very good point that Fox will use half time and post game analysis to bash an issue to death.

          GREAT!! I have no problem with that because that allows me to make a choice; listen or turn off the programme. I don’t have that choice with 9 doing it throughout a game – not if I want to watch the game, that is.

        • Roar Guru

          July 23rd 2018 @ 3:34pm
          BA Sports said | July 23rd 2018 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

          Unfortunately we have three more years of it. Once time comes to start negotiating the next TV deal, you just watch the Ch 9 crew start toeing the NRL line more and protecting the shield.

        • July 24th 2018 @ 4:02pm
          Mushi said | July 24th 2018 @ 4:02pm | ! Report

          A couple of years ago my wife commented on how she didn’t hate me watching NRL as much.

          I explained we can watch it with out the channel 9 commentary. Her response ” great that Gould guy is the most annoying sound I’ve ever heard followed closely by you explaining to the TV that he doesn’t actually know the rules.” She followed up with “everyone knows he doesn’t know anything, let it go “

    • July 23rd 2018 @ 8:15am
      Paul C said | July 23rd 2018 @ 8:15am | ! Report

      Mary,
      Great Article, leave the Bunker there or we would loose all those incredible wingers tries. The Referees should stop awarding tries that need Bunker adjudication & talk to the Bunker staff & run through the replay & between them award or disallow the try.
      Presently the two choices the Referees has is, “Try” or “No Try”, is also flawed. If the Referee rules a try, the Bunker will rule try unless it is a real howler. In the case of a no try the Bunker rules in favour of the Referee even in a doubtful case. Give the Bunker the power to rule either way if the Referee rules, I was unsighted or such.
      Just throwing a few points up that I think are worthy of debate. “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”. The Bunker isn’t broken just needs some adjustment.

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