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holtys interview

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Adam Clay scored the post-hooter try which rescued Barrow Raiders a bonus point and lifted them out of the relegation zone in a 34-22 loss.

But it was the green-shirted official who took too much of the attention with a contentious display beforehand.

With Raiders leading 18-12 at half-time, they failed to score in 40 second-half minutes and instead saw their visitors twice cross the whitewash in quick succession on the back of double penalties.

Combined with a general failure to punish lying on throughout the match and several over debatable calls, Mr Hewer had Holt fuming, despite an improved home display from his side. With inflammatory comments which could result in action from the RFL, the Barrow coach did not hold back in his assessment of the official.

“I think it was made an awful lot tougher by an absolutely disgusting refereeing performance by our friend Gareth Hewer,” said Holt, whose side went ahead at half-time through tries from Max Wiper, Brad Brennan and Liam Campbell.

“There are no excuses for it. Do these referees go home and watch these performances and do they get criticised and do they learn from their mistakes?

“After that performance from Gareth Hewer, you would have to say no. It was shambolic – there were high tackles missed, there were knock-ons missed, there were offsides missed, it was just an absolutely disgusting performance.

“You coach your players to come down here and try and put things in place to do things and then the game, for me anyway, is taken away.”

Holt did recognise Leigh as the better team over the 80 minutes, adapting better to the interpretation of the rules from Mr Hewer.

They scored four tries in succession in a dominant second-half display – two with the help of dubious penalties – to take control and almost rob Barrow of their vital bonus point.

But even when talking about his own team, Holt came back to the referee.

He added: “The performance of the players was what I asked them to do and the effort was there for everybody to see – we held Leigh for long periods of the game and they have a big pack in the forwards. I think we won that battle.

“But there is a sour taste in my mouth and it’s a shame that after such effort is put in by two teams there, that the talking point after the game has to be a referee and a refereeing performance.

“I hope you put this in print – it was a below-par, not good enough performance, from a referee who very rarely seems to implement the directions he gets from his bosses.

“At any standard of rugby, any standard of sport, it’s a sad state of affairs when the conversation is about the official, rather than about the actual rugby that was on show.

“There were a few decisions and I’m going to sit down and watch the DVD, then I will be able to give you a rundown of about 10.

“There were knock-ons at play-the-balls, there was messing around at play-the-balls that was over 10 seconds long. How that can’t be a penalty on the directives I receive from the RFL is just absolutely beyond me.

“Then, if you flip it, he will give a penalty against us for something not as bad. It’s consistency in a referee that you look for.

“I don’t want to completely blame the refereeing performance – Leigh are a good team, but the last thing we need is for them to be piggybacked by a referee with some dodgy decisions to say the least.”

Praising his team despite the loss, Holt eventually said: “I really do think they built on the York performance.

“It’s an indication that the bonus point we got and deserved still feels like a disappointment.

“We came out after half-time and held on for 10 minutes and, if things had gone our way, it could have been a different game.

“We compounded mistakes with our decision-making, but – and I apologise for it – I just think we were never given a chance. We were never going to win that game there and we were never given a fair crack of the whip.

“You have been speaking to me for years and I have never once spoken this way about a referee. But I will watch the DVD, make a phone call to the RFL, only to be told ‘we will have a word’.

“Then Gareth Hewer will be back down here in three weeks’ time. I think he sold both sets of supporters short today".

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Aye Holty will get a rollocking from Red Hall for the outburst but fair play as the standard of refereeing has gone right down the pan. Hewer isnt the worst offender either.

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This is an exact copy from the Mail Kev and is virtually word for word what he said. I agree with every word and feel sure we would have won without those back to back penalties in the second half.

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i actually agree with Holty on his review of Hewer, the guys awful.

i thought the local standard of referring was bad until i was reminded of how Hewer does it.


we seem to get sent some bad refs. just look at the other week with the Fev players shoulder charge on Dandy, the ref wasnt going to give it until the players all ran in.

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