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Should Ashley Klein have been dropped?

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I didn't want to get into the discussion of Ashley Klein's performance after the Storm loss at the final hooter of the game against Knights at the weekend.

Craig Bellamy though didn't hold back.

He criticised Klein and since then the club has submitted what it considers to be evidence of reffing errors made in the game to back up its case.

The NRL has yet to respond to this but has ommitted Ashley Klein from the list of referees for the coming weekend, the first weekend he's missed this season.

Bellyache was obviously unhappy with decisions made in the game but also reflected on other  performances by Klein in Storm games.

One of his comments was to the effect that Klein doesn't sem to like the way Storm play.

There were also comments on a lack of consistency both of decisions within this game and in other games played, for example the penalty given for driving the Knights player into touch when he had both feet on the ground and there was still momentum.

Well Storm had it within their own hands to win that game.

All the same there were key reffing decisions especially in the important last few minutes which seem to be in need of scrutiny.

I wouldn't have mentioned this, but by dropping Klein, the NRL have raised the point for discussion I feel.

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Sadly I think the whole match officials Performance in the NRL over the past couple of seasons has been a joke. Klein for me was bad at the Weekend on a number of occassions, But Melbourne lost the game themselves not the refs. The couple of incidents for me that stood out was.


i) Twice a Knights Player was tackled into touch, with the momentum still in the tackle, with 4 or 5 Players involved. Klein calls Held/Tackle when the tackle was nowhere near complete and when you have 4 defenders involved you cant just pull out of a tackle just like that. I just cant understand why he first called tackle complete and why he gave a Penalty. That was not a case of him not having a good view neither as he was nearby.


ii) Cronk was bumped out the way and Chambers got the ball with just the Fullback to beat and Klein called Penalty without even seeing what the outcome was. Melbourne received the Penalty and did I think score of that set. But as a Ref I would have allowed Play on and see what happened. If Chambers was tackled the OK Penalty back up field but if he scored go to the Video Ref. It was like he didnt want The Storm to score.


iii) A number of times, including where Slater was stripped fairly of the ball, the Knights markers was not square and was allowed to slow the PTB down


iv) The obstruction where the Storm was pulled up for was the same Situation where the Knights was allowed. Ist this inconsistancy which frustrates me the most more than Refs mistakes. One ref sees something and ist OK. Another ref will call Penalty for it. As a fan you have no idea what call a ref will make and as a Player must be very frustrating to know where you stand exactly regarding things.


v) I find a Penalty Count 7-0 to a Team that upto the last 5 minutes and  was always behind on the board and was struggling at times with Melbournes attack strange. Not one offence in 40 Minutes is strange to say the least when the other Team commits 7.


Out of the 6 times Klein has reffed MS, they have 5 times been well behind on the Penalty Count and lost them 5 games. I am not saying MS dont commit Penaltys nor that they lost because of Klein. But I think Bellamy and MS have every right to question the way Klein refs the games. Ist not as if this is something new regarding Klein and MS as the issue has been raised before. I think Bellamy was frustrated that he had gone down the right channels via Tony Archer and again the seemingly strange decisions happen again and he went public with it.


However, as i have said previously, the Standard of reffing for the past couple of years has not been good and the media have jumped on that making the Job even harder. I dont think 2 refs is working and would go back to having one Referee, 2 linesmen and 2 Ingoal Refs. Also I would get rid of the Video Refs in its current form. I would have it where the captains can challenge a decision twice in a game. Thats when the Video ref has a look and decides. Maybe the NRL and the TV Channels Need to come together and work more together. Showing multiple replays of refs Errors etc makes things even worse. Also the game Needs to have a better understanding of such things as obstruction, tackle situations etc. Rugby League Needs to go back to being the simple game it was rather than the complicated grey area game it has become for me. Also the NRL and SL and Internationals should all have the same rule interpretations. Ist crazy that our game has so many different sets of rules depending which comp you Play in!

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Interesting points LRL.

Usually when a Coach sounds off big time against a ref they are hauled over the coals and fined.

The interesting thing here is that CB hasn't been punished for his comments.

Whether you have one ref or two (or three or four) you need consistency within the match and also from match to match.

Other coaches at many points in this season - remember the upsets at the beginning of the season? - have called for consistency 

amongst the refs and their decisions.

A big reffing issue this season has been where refs have actually got decisions wrong, even when there has been the aid of video from many angles and speeds.

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