Watson takes aim at RFL refs’ boss Ganson

Salford coach Ian Watson will demand a please-explain from RFL referees chief Steve Ganson for the second week in a row after the Red Devils’ 22-8 loss to Leeds on Saturday.

And this time, he’s hoping for a reply.

Watson claimed whistleblower Marcus Griffiths “ruined” Saturday’s contest as his side surrendered an 8-0 first-half lead.

The Red Devils coach also reached out to Ganson last week after back-to-back penalties decided Salford’s 12-10 defeat to Huddersfield, on top of a number of queries in 2019, but he has never heard back.

“I contacted him a few times last year and he never got back to me, because we’re not Wigan or we’re not St Helens, so we’re not important enough to deal with, potentially,” Watson said on Saturday.

“Ganson should come forward and say why he’s putting people in charge of a game that can’t control the game.

“I’ll say it was ruined, mate. That’s what I’ll say, pretty bluntly. I’ll say it ruined the game. The first half, we played well… but there are things that happened in the second half that are just way beyond our control.”

Watson pointed to a series of key calls, but he was particularly frustrated by Griffiths’ decision to award Leeds a goal-line drop-out when he believed fullback Niall Evalds had been tackled in the air. The Rhinos went in front off the very next set.

“Niall in the air, one hundred per cent he’s in the air,” Watson insisted.

“You give that to any referee in Super League, and it’s on Sky, I’ll give you ten times out of ten he’ll say he’s tackled him in the air there.

“Our boys don’t blow up. Every single person made a deal out of that. For me, I’d like Ganson to explain to me and contact us because I contacted him numerous times last year and he didn’t contact me.

“In the game now you’ve got relegation, so you’ve got livelihoods on the line and things like that. The people who are in the charge of the games have got to be doing it the right way. And I feel the game was ruined.”

The Salford coach also renewed his appeal for video referees at every game after Sky Sports cameras influenced critical decisions during the previous Friday’s loss to Huddersfield, but were absent from Saturday’s clash when they might have come in handy for the home team.

“They’re big calls and I think you need them. The competition’s getting tighter and tighter,” Watson said.

“It seemed to be as soon as our crowd went berserk about the referee, the referee seemed to then just wash his hands of Salford and then just refereed the game in a totally different manner. And that’s what I’m not happy about. And you get fines all the time for speaking out. But people ask you for your opinion and you should be able to give your opinion.”