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International referees


langpark
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In case you haven't heard, IRL is forming an 8-man Elite referee squad, in which there can be no more than 3 per country.  So far, as expected, 3 Aussies (Sutton, Klein, Atkins) have been announced and today, Kiwi ref Henry Perenara was announced as the fourth: https://www.intrl.sport/news/perenara-appointed-to-international-match-officials-panel/

The last four spots, you would expect to be 3 English and a Frenchman.  So whenever there is a match involving tier one nations, it can only be one of these eight referees.

Hopefully now, there will be no excuse for not having neutral refs for all matches.  Henry Perenara can do England vs Aus, then for Aus vs NZ you can choose any of the top 3 English referees, and of course England vs NZ an Aussie can referee.  I really hope this will be the case next year at the World Cup.

I found it super irritating in 2016 for the Four Nations, where they flew two Aussie refs over to England, only to see this happen:
England vs NZ (English ref)
Australia vs NZ (Aussie ref)

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7 minutes ago, Damien said:

There has never been a valid excuse for not having neutral referees in international matches.

The usual excuse(s) offered up, usually by the Aussies is:

"It's the biggest game, we want the best ref... Don't worry, he's a professional!  He won't be bias!"

I don't for a second believe a ref will be deliberately bias, but it puts them in an unfair position and plays on their subconscious when making decisions.  Then there is little things, for example, a thick Aussie or Yorkshire accent from a ref, gives a slight advantage to one...  Might be splitting hairs now, but as you say, there is no excuse.

We are lucky to have Perenara as an option and should be using him every time.  I hope another NZ ref can step up after he retires.  Would be great to see another Frenchman in SL (like Thierry Alibert did).  Also, would be great if PNG and Wales could produce a top ref.  I seem to remember some decent PNG referee(s) in the 80s or 90s.  I think one may have even refereed some Aus vs NZ matches.

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1 hour ago, langpark said:

We are lucky to have Perenara as an option and should be using him every time.  I hope another NZ ref can step up after he retires.  Would be great to see another Frenchman in SL (like Thierry Alibert did).  Also, would be great if PNG and Wales could produce a top ref.  I seem to remember some decent PNG referee(s) in the 80s or 90s.  I think one may have even refereed some Aus vs NZ matches.

“Lucky to have Perenara”... I suppose bad luck is a type of luck 😂

In my opinion, Henry Perenara is the worst preforming professional referee I have seen in both hemispheres. He is actually atrocious. He hasn’t improved a hell of a lot either over his time.

Great to see IRL focus on this matter, it has been a long time coming.

Edited by Sports Prophet
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19 minutes ago, Man of Kent said:

Having an elite global group of referees can only enhance the credibility of the international game. If it means neutral refs too, even better. 

Has anyone outside of the small number of Rugby League fans in England ever been that bothered by a referees birthplace?

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I agree with both of the last two comments. It's never bothered me at all where a referee was from, but I can see why RL would perhaps want to have neutral referees for internationals. It seems to be the done thing in other major sports, and it reduces the possibility of a ref being accused of favouritism.

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10 hours ago, Oxford said:

The first rule needs to be be No teams shall contact referees for any reason during the tournament.

The first rule needs to be the best referee is selected for the biggest games, regardless of nationality. As nearly all referees are from Australia or England when those 2 Nations meet the referee is probably going to be from one of those Nations.

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50 minutes ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

The first rule needs to be the best referee is selected for the biggest games, regardless of nationality. As nearly all referees are from Australia or England when those 2 Nations meet the referee is probably going to be from one of those Nations.

No I said what the first rule was yours is a rule we follow. If the captain's challenge has taught us nothing other than players don't know the rules and don't want them applied in much the same way as fans. The complaints about refs being poor from say France is that the Aussies pretend they don't understand his rulings,

 

 

 

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It doesn’t matter who is on the panel but who is the appointments group.

Most of the issues regarding appointments have traditionally started with the Aussies wanting their man in the middle for what they saw as the key game etc

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11 hours ago, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

Can we get some ******* International games booked first before ******* about with this

There's something stopping that for the moment. I can't think what it it is, though.

People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.

Isaac Asimov

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    When Great Britain played away against France 1950/1970's a french ref was usually in charge.The French got away with biteing, gouging.kicking high tackles the lot .French ref turned a blind eye when G.B. player retaliated they were sent off.Forward passes offside didn't count for the home side but G.B. heavily penalised.Same in the scrums French got away with the lot while G.B were penalise for the slightest transgression.No wonder the games were scrappy and showed the game in a bad light.

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14 hours ago, langpark said:

"It's the biggest game, we want the best ref... Don't worry, he's a professional!  He won't be bias!"

I don't for a second believe a ref will be deliberately bias, but it puts them in an unfair position and plays on their subconscious when making decisions.  Then there is little things, for example, a thick Aussie or Yorkshire accent from a ref, gives a slight advantage to one..

At the final play of the England/Tonga WC semi in 2017, there`s every reason to think Matt Cecchin made an on-field call rather than send it to the video ref because he knew he`d be handing Ben Thaler a poisoned chalice. Your quote at the top there makes perfect sense in the cold light of of an administrators` meeting, but in the hot last moments of that game people would have been hearing the Yorkshire accent more than heeding the reasoning for the decision.

There should always be at least one Frenchman on the international panel. At the moment it would probably be Mohammed Drizza.  Having all Aussies and Northern Englishmen refereeing internationals adds to the perception of RL as a game with little global reach.

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31 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

At the final play of the England/Tonga WC semi in 2017, there`s every reason to think Matt Cecchin made an on-field call rather than send it to the video ref because he knew he`d be handing Ben Thaler a poisoned chalice. Your quote at the top there makes perfect sense in the cold light of of an administrators` meeting, but in the hot last moments of that game people would have been hearing the Yorkshire accent more than heeding the reasoning for the decision.

There should always be at least one Frenchman on the international panel. At the moment it would probably be Mohammed Drizza.  Having all Aussies and Northern Englishmen refereeing internationals adds to the perception of RL as a game with little global reach

That is a really good example and one I hadn't actually thought of. I would love to know what their logic was when assigning Thaler to that match, at a tournament where there were an abundance of neutral (Aussie) referees on hand. 

Regarding the last 4 positions, I think Drizza will be the favourite for France, followed closely by Ben Casty.

There is a Welsh referee named James Jones but I am not even sure where he referees now. I think he has done League One matches. So I doubt he will be considered. 

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44 minutes ago, Spidey said:

If we ever want to entice new viewers & fans. Neutrality of referees is a must. The majority of other sports have them. We are the outlier 

I dont understand that argument . Are new fans looking at that more than anything else or will feel its a decisive issue in terms of them following the game ? Surely the product theyre watching is all that matters . We may be an outlier but we have such a tiny pool of professional leagues and so officials good enough to do the job at the highest level , so its not really comparable . Im not for neutral refs just for the perception ... ill take Cecchin or Atkins or Sutton over Perenara or a French ref from their league any day . You want guys comfortable in the environment of a top international , just get the best refs in the best games .  Interestingly more people in cricket are discussing scrapping neutral umpires with guys just picked from the elite panel 

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