Graham

The Ref Bash - and its cost - Punishment stands!

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Manly Warringah Sea Eagles confirm that we have received an NRL breach notice in relation to comments made at the post-match press conference following Saturday's game.

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

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and from Sharks:

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Our Club has today received a breach notice from the NRL in relation to post-match comments following Sunday's Elimination Final.

Our Club will review and take advice on the contents of the breach notice and then make a decision as to our next course of action.

Our Club will be making no further comment on the matter at this stage.

From the NRL

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The NRL has issued the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles with breach notices for comments about referees following their Finals Series Week One matches.

A fine of $30,000 has been proposed for the Sharks over comments by Head Coach Shane Flanagan and other content published on the club’s official website and sent to members.

The NRL has proposed a fine of $20,000 for the Sea Eagles over comments by its Head Coach Trent Barrett on Saturday night.

NRL Head of Football Brian Canavan said the penalties took into account the seriousness of the breaches, the fact that the comments went beyond acceptable parameters, and that they damaged the game during the Finals Series.

“In relation to the Sharks, there were separate breaches in the media conference following the game, in a separate interview with the coach which was sent to members and in an article published on the club’s website,” Mr Canavan said. “That is why the proposed penalty is higher than we have generally issued in the past.”

Mr Canavan said Manly coach Trent Barrett had already received a warning in relation to comments about match officials earlier this season.

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

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

The Sharks and the Sea Eagles have five business days to respond to the breach notice.

Refs have been publically pilloried following the two teams finals exit. The two coaches were left fuming and felt that the refs were a key reason their teams were eliminated andthey just couldn't help making their views known.

Wow: The Sharks v Cowboys referee feedback sheets have been leaked all watermarked with the Sharks Logo

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The assumption with these forms is that they are genuine - what do you reckon?

The coaches will expect a fine - the price for saying what they said.

Coaches have a responsibility to set an example to their players. Refs aren't 100% right all the time, and never will they be. Publically ridiculing them doesn't do anything for the game. The refs weren't the people who knocked on, made an error trying to milk a penalty, or let tries in.

A calm reflection followed by a reasoned approach would have been the ideal reaction, but given the intense feeling involved they just went public big time with their grievences which will presumably cost them a fair amount of money. The first place to look for reasons why your team lost is your team's performance.

 

 

 

Edited by Graham

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A few thoughts:

a. I hate when coaches bring the referees to the center of attention either before or after a contest. Especially when they merely complain about the calls that went against their team. Get a little perspective and look at both sides of the issue, please!

b. Referees make mistakes, it's a given. It's hard to swallow when it has a direct bearing on the result, but I'd rather have so-so refs (I'm looking at you, Henry & Luke) than no refs at all. The only thing that one should expect from the referees is to call the game the same way for 80 minutes. Infringements 2 minutes into the first half are still infringements 2 minutes from the full time siren. Sadly (probably because they're human), it's not guaranteed.

c. On Sunday, since Flanagan wanted to address contentious calls from the referees, he should have taken the high road and acknowledged first that the Sharks had played poorly. Something along these lines: "We didn't play our best footy today and I think it reflects on the scoreboard. We didn't seize a few opportunities because of our mistakes and lost to a team which was not necessarily better on the day but more composed in key situations. Now as bad as we were, the referees certainly weren't better than us..." and then list everything he felt was wrong. I understand that he was upset (probably more than I was, and I was gutted), but this year we won a few close ones where the refs hadn't been perfect either. He didn't complain then.

d. Flanagan supposedly asked to Canavan before the press conference what he could / couldn't say to avoid the fine. If true, I reckon that either something was lost in translation or someone moved the goal posts afterwards.

e. I too found interesting that the leaked report had a Sharks watermark. Probably the most obvious source in the history of whistle blowing. On the content, I'm not going to rewatch that dreadful game (from a supporter's standpoint) so I won't comment on the review, but the point of such an exercise in the current context is not to fault the referees. The NRL is always going to defend its officials. So that review is slightly pointless, I think. Basically it says, "regarding all the points Flanagan raised the referees were right, but they did miss a few things (ie they can't be perfect, can they?)". And thus I'm a bit puzzled as to why it was leaked at all. It's not like it contains a smoking gun revelation.

 

That is all for now.

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So the jury has returned its verdict:

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Cronulla and Manly have been hit hard by the NRL following their coach’s referee rants in week one of the finals.

Following both their team’s elimination from the finals series, Sharks coach Shane Flanagan and the Sea Eagles’ Trent Barrett were scathing in their assessment of the match officials’ performance.

Flanagan has copped a hefty $30,000 punishment, while Barrett has been fined $20,000.

Apart from some odd feeling apostrophes, what about that then?

Fines that are justified on the comments alone or punitive aimed at deterring others?

Edited by Graham

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Only seen the Flanaghan interview. Flanaghan was a disgrace and pathetic! He may have had complaint about a couple decisions that didnt go the Sharks way, but the Refs are not perfect. But to read out a pathetic list and ignore all the mistakes him and his players did during the game for me was just a low act. When Cronulla a couple of seasons ago benefitted from a 7 tackle set which they scored off he told the media thats life. Well thats life what happened at the weekend. Cronulla had enough chances to win the game and blew it everytime from Fafita throwing crazy passes to Gallen thinking he could milk a penalty. Should have been a 50K fine and forced to go on a match officials course. Hate it when Coaches blast Refs for losing. Ashley Klein is somebody I dont rate as a Ref. But I would never go into an after match interview and blame him why my team lost and certainly wouldnt be so childish as to read out my views on his mistakes-especially ignoring the possible mistakes which benefitted my side. The book should be thrown at him big style. What message does this send to fans and kids? Its OK to blame and abuse Refs.

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Another problem is that fine or no fine, the issue won't go away. The referees, who do one of the most thankless job there is (it's like being a middle manager without any benefit) most of them for peanuts, merely because they love the game (any game), will still be at the center of attention.

In fact, in the future, I wouldn't be surprised if coaches refused to comment on anything even remotely related to the refs only for us to read a day or two later in the media something like "Sources close to the club, while stopping short of saying that the referees were corrupt, lamented the many contentious calls that cost their team the win." Who do you fine then?

I don't have the beginning of a solution, I'm merely highlighting something that is inherent in any sporting contest and has been for a long long time in any society.

As soon as someone, anyone, is tasked with enforcing a set of rules, people will complain. I mean even when I played hockey at the lowest level there is, I had teammates who criticised the referee (often a former player from our club) for his perceived bias/incompetence instead of enjoying the afternoon. And this happens every weekend, in every country, in any sport. And that's what I find depressing.

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7 hours ago, The Future is League said:

The problem is that most coaches don't know ALL and there is the problem.

All coaches should be made to go on a refs course every off season so that know what ALL the rules are.

Don't they already have training sessions with the referees during the off season?

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3 hours ago, Vichyssoise said:

Don't they already have training sessions with the referees during the off season?

They do at times, but its clear that some coaches still don't know all the rules or chose to be selective about them.

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James Maloney:

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“As soon as you start criticising refs, they’re in a tough position,’’ Maloney said.

“That stems down to how referees in junior footy and grassroots (are treated).

“The refs have got to be respected, and it’s a dangerous precedent when you start having shots at them with where it leads to down the path.

“Then there’s the other side where people want to see some accountability from the referees, that’s the issue for people.

“But at the end of the day I’m a big believer that the refs don’t decide footy games, regardless of how things go.

“They’re out there trying to do their best regardless."

 

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Sharks coach Shane Flanagan has hinted he’ll be challenging the NRL’s $30,000 fine that was dished out on Tuesday.

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Flanagan and Manly’s Trent Barrett ($20,000) were both hit with fines for the referee rants following their team’s elimination from the finals last weekend.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg told the game to “grow up” following the pair’s remarks saying they hurt grassroots footy.

“I think that’s ridiculous, I’ve got to stand up for this club and the game,” Flanagan said

“My sponsors, my supporters of this club want me to stand up and my playing group.

“We just questioned the decisions and I think I’ve got a right to be able to do that.

“Does that damage grassroots? Is that disrespecting referees? Not in my view.”

Flanagan said he worked with the grassroots area of the game on a daily basis.

“I’ve got academies with hundreds of kids with boys and girls in them. We are grassroots every minute of the day,” he said.

“(Greenberg) had a shot at the other coaches. Trent Barrett runs water for a team, Brad Arthur is a coach of a (non-NRL) team.”

When asked whether he felt insulted by Greenberg’s comments, Flanagan replied: “Yeah, 100 per cent.”

 

 

He has lost his rag over this and is letting his mouth rule his head. 

This hot headed blame game does not do his club, players and the youngsters he influences, any good at all. 

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Yes, the folk upstairs seem to be involved Vichy, for example those referee feedback sheets wouldn't have been leaked otherwise.

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Flanaghan is a disgrace as a coach. As a coach people from players, other coaches at a club as well as fans including kids look up to you. The way you act rubs off on them. The way he has gone about this is all wrong. Yes we all say things in the heat of the moment but he is dragging this out and making it worse. There is nothing to appeal against. His team not the refs lost the game. Maybe the NRL should ban him from being in the dressing room at half time as well as ban him from the Coaches box and Touchline for a game or two. For me he is a very poor example of a coach.

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The take of England's coach: https://au.sports.yahoo.com/league/a/37087248/wayne-bennett-says-scrap-the-nrl-bunker/

 

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Scrap the bunker.

That was the blunt message from Wayne Bennett after the Brisbane master mentor admitted he could empathise with the two NRL coaches who were fined for blasting referees.

Bennett said the game needed less technology, not more, and believed the solution was ditching the NRL's $2 million state-of-the-art facility and going back to basics with one referee.

NRL boss Todd Greenberg called a media conference early this week to tell coaches to "grow up" after Cronulla's Shane Flanagan and Manly's Trent Barrett were fined a total of $50,000 for venting over referees as they bowed out of the finals.

But Bennett could feel for his fellow coaches ahead of Brisbane's knockout semi-final against Penrith.

"It's a difficult one. It is pretty unfair on the coaches because their season is finished and they are in a pretty bad emotional state," Bennett said.

"Then they go to a press conference and are asked about the referees - it's pretty hard not to say what you really think.

"I have a lot of empathy for them. It's the last place you want to be."

While Bennett could understand why Greenberg wanted to protect the referees, he believed the game would benefit from less technology - and no bunker.

"I would scrap the bunker - I would do it tomorrow," Bennett said.

"Personally, I didn't want it to come in in the first place.

"I think we need less technology than more; I hope we go that way in the future.

"The most popular sport in the world is soccer and the only technology is a ball going into the goal - they understand the ramifications if they have the technology and they don't want it.

"There are some good lessons out there but we are not looking at them hard enough."

Bennett said his 40 years of coaching told him to revert to one referee in the NRL.

"I have been watching a fair bit of English football and they do a good job with one ref," he said.

"Will coaches cop it (wrong decision) from one referee? They copped it for 90 odd years and lived with it (before the bunker).

"We got on with life then and didn't carry on like they are carrying on now.

"Everyone is looking for perfection all the time now - let's just get on with life."

He too probably needs to grow up. :D

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I'll add a rumor to the whole thing :tongue: courtesy of the lurker.

http://www.sportingnews.com/au/league/list/the-lurker-gavin-badger-to-retire-tony-archer-set-wield-axe-ashley-klein-nrl-referee/tqbciyipbrhg1ltrg3nn0p9oq/slide/1

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I’m hearing there are changes afoot with the referees, with two of the veterans in the ranks set to hang up their whistles in 2018.

Gavin Badger - a bloke who has been popular with the players for over a decade - has been offered a mentoring role with young and indigenous referees and is likely to take that up.

Another ref who hasn’t shared that same popularity, Ashley Klein, is not likely to be offered a new deal, I am being told.

Klein has struggled to keep up with the pace of the modern game and many were surprised he was given a contract again this season.

 

Edited by Vichyssoise

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Klein:

"Klein arrived in England as a youngster and refereed his first few games in the Rugby League Conference travelling up from London.

His first professional game was Workington Town v Featherstone Rovers on 8 September 2002."

Obviously it has been downhill all the way from that impressive and prestigious beginning.

 

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Indeed. It's like playing one's first career game in a Grand Final... Hard to top that.

Still, I reckon his best game was the 2008 WC final. The best on the park that day (according to Ricky Stuart), closely followed by Joel Monaghan and Billy Slater.

But I'm going off topic.

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Yes, but for your great taste and judgement you win this morning's prize. It has to be collected from a park bench in Darrington before 10:30 am UK time

topic.jpg.525f6a763743eef9548c0ead76f6a191.jpg Hurry up if you want to claim it.

Edited by Graham

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Fans continue to complain about the referees, but does the NRL care?

Todd Greenberg has taken a stance against NRL coaches that have blamed the referees for their losses. In particular Shane Flanagan and Trent Barrett, who chose to place the blame for their elimination final losses at the feet of the referees. Flanagan and Barrett were critical of a number of decisions that were made over the opening week of the finals, and clearly felt they lost due to poor officiating. Both coaches have since received fines for their criticism of the referees.

But should the fans accept the NRL’s stance?  It is clear that a large number of fans are unhappy with the standard of refereeing that has been on display this season. There are always a number of fans that complain about the quality of the officials after almost every game, and often it comes from neutral fans.

This is a worrying trend, as disgruntled fans will turn away from the game.

The problem could simply be a case of fans believing that refereeing was better in previous years when that may not be true. However, there are certainly legitimate concerns about the officiating in the NRL.

The NRL bunker has been a disappointment to many fans, particularly as it was designed to remove errors in the video ref system.

The inconsistency of the bunker has been similar to the video ref, with a number of baffling decisions being made over the course of the year. Decisions such as Tautau Moga’s try against the Rabbitohs in round eight have forced referee boss Tony Archer to publicly admit the bunker was incorrect. Other decisions, such as Tyrone Peachey’s try against Manly in the first round of the finals have caused Archer to defend the bunker.

Either way, it is not a good look for the game, as the bunker was presented as a fix to the games video refereeing problem but continues to make errors.

On-field officials are also being attacked by fans online and at games. A Raiders fan even went so far as to spit on referee Ashley Klein during a round 24 game.

Though many fans overreact to decisions in games, the NRL must accept that the referees can improve. There are instances of officials being praised for the way the performed during a game, such as the State of Origin series this year.

The officials for the first State of Origin game this year were widely praised, as they only blew six penalties throughout the entire game. This allowed for a free-flowing game that fans and experts alike found was very entertaining to watch.

Though the teams in this game were probably more disciplined than the average NRL side, NRL referees should consider trying to emulate this performance. Obviously, referees must officiate games, but allowing matches to flow naturally creates more interesting contests.

Perhaps this is one way in which the NRL could improve the perception of refereeing quality amongst the fans.

The NRL could also consider demoting referees for bad performances. There are instances of this occurring, such as Bernard Sutton and Chris Butler, who were stood down for not ensuring Sia Soliola was sent off after a nasty high shot of Billy Slater.

Referee boss Tony Archer must consider taking a harder stance on poor performances by on-field referees and bunker officials. This would show fans that the NRL wants referees to be continually improving and that a certain level of quality is being maintained in the game.

What do you think? Should the NRL tell the referees to improve or are the fans too willing to complain?

 

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A lot has been said on this and I am only just getting to grips with it all.

as a Sharks fan I was extremely disappointed at full time.

Not with the ref's, but my team. Furthermore, I was not surprised with the result considering this was a performance consistent with the entire Sharks season.

I was embarrassed by Flanagan's outburst post match and as a member made my feelings clear to the club the next day, that while I support Flanagan as club coach, a public apology for his outburst was in order.

The real problem is not the outburst, which is a culmination of attitude the governing body brings on itself. The problem is the blame culture that we get in the media. If you are an administrator that doesn't want coaches or players talking about referee decisions post match, I have a ground breakers my idea... suspend any journo who asks such a question in the post match press conference. Place pressure on the networks to release commentators that focus too much on the decisions. Stop the media from making a story of it, then players and coaches have little platform to make a story of it.

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