Column: Players and coaches to blame for deceiving referees

Brian McDermott caused up a stir on Thursday night when he went on a near ten-minute rant about the way the game is being officiated.

Maybe he has a point.

But maybe the issues actually lie within the clubs themselves.

From the terraces, that certainly seems to be the case, and it’s becoming extremely frustrating to watch.

Rugby League fans love to take pride in sport’s toughness and the warriors that put their bodies on the line every single week.

But it’s all made a mockery of when players can be seen wriggling around on the floor, pandering for penalties as they gesticulate towards referees, collapse in a heap under minimal to no contact.

There is no sugarcoating it. Players are trying to cheat referees. It has to stop.

Sympathy should instead be given to match officials who have to put up with all the nonsense as supporters blindly hurl abuse at them for not giving in to the demands of screaming players.

But sadly, as in any other walk in life, when someone tries to con you, you’ll eventually get stung. Match officials are no different.

It’s impossible for referees to judge every single ruck correctly, and players are intentionally going out to make their jobs harder. It’s poor sportsmanship and it is having an adverse effect on the quality of the game as stoppages becoming more and more frequent.

So instead of lambasting the refs, maybe coaches and supporters should take a closer look at their players’ involvement in the issue instead.

Buy League Express today for an in-depth piece with the RFL’s head of match officials Steve Ganson, who responds to McDermott’s comments. Buy League Express today in stores or online at