Manly coach Geoff Toovey has revealed in the press conference after his side’s match with Penrith, that he believes NRL coaches should be allowed to publicly criticise referees. Manly led 8-6 at halftime, but a 5-1 penalty count against his side essentially cost Manly the game, according to Toovey.
“To be in front and for strange reasons have five penalties in a row go against you, the match swung,” Toovey stated. He also admitted that it is “difficult times” at his club, who have had their worst start to a season in over a decade. In fact, Manly has been kept to 1 win or less after their first 6 games of a season, just 8 times since their debut season in 1947.
Toovey’s anger at the officiating saw him reveal that he had spoken with NRL Head of Football Todd Greenberg in the preseason about changing the current rules that prohibit coaches from making any public comments about referee’s.
Toovey was then asked if he had a grievance with the officiating, what course of action could he take, to which he replied, “Nothing. There’s none. I’ve asked Todd Greenberg to come up with a new system but I’m still waiting for it.”
This desire of Toovey’s to be able to criticise match officials comes just a week after the ugly scenes in the Canterbury vs South Sydney match which saw James Graham and David Klemmer both suspended for their treatment of the referee.